It would appear that the Russian listens more to the club’s senior players than the man in the so-called hotseat and Andre Villas-Boas has been given no time to implement a grand plan after getting his marching orders on Sunday following the team’s 1-0 defeat at West Brom.
It now falls to caretaker boss Roberto Di Matteo to try and steer Chelsea in the top four of the Premier League although the first port of call is to reach the quarter final of the FA Cup when they travel to St Andrews for a tricky tie.
The visitors are the 4/5 favourites (Paddy Power) to win this encounter although they did lose at St Andrews in the Premier League last term and will be playing a team that aren’t accustomed to losing their home matches.
Birmingham have been pretty solid in front of their own supporters this season and they were in cruise control against Derby last weekend when leading 2-0 only for the Rams to land an unlikely point.
Chris Hughton will ensure his troops are fired up for this replay and you can get 17/4 (Bet365 £200 free bets) about a City win which seems like a big price considering that their opponents have just lost the manager and were deservedly beaten by the Baggies at the weekend.
Marlon King will lead the line for the Blues and the journeyman striker can be backed at 9/1 to score the first goal of the game, while the lanky Nikola Zigic could cause a few problems for a Chelsea defence missing John Terry.
Villas-Boas’ last Chelsea match finished with Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres on the field, despite the manager previously stating they were playing for one position and it will be interesting to see who is selected for this encounter.
Di Matteo will surely try and curry favour with the old guard and that will include Frank Lampard who openly hinted that his relationship with the former Chelsea manager was far from idea. The England midfielder is a 7/1 chance to score the first goal of this particular match.
It would be no great surprise if we see a spirited display from the Premier League team in this match, with Roman Abramovich likely to ask them to roll their sleeves up and grind out a victory which will give them a chance of winning silverware this season.