Carling Cup semi-final preview

Carling Cup semi-final first leg
West Ham United v Birmingham City
Tuesday 11 January 2011
Referee: Phil Dowd


• West Ham United welcome Birmingham City looking to win the two-legged tie and secure a place at Wembley for the first time in 30 years since the 1981 League Cup final. The second leg will be played at St Andrew's on Wednesday 26 January.

This will be the second meeting of the clubs this season after the 2-2 draw at Birmingham on 6 November, with the Hammers throwing away a two-goal lead in that Barclays Premier League tie. After the Blues battled back to square the contest, Lars Jacobsen - cup-tied tonight - was denied a strong penalty shout.

• Tickets are pay on the day with the turnstiles open from 6.15pm. Click here for more information.

• Freddie Piquionne scored both goals for Avram Grant's Portsmouth last season as they won 2-0 at home in the FA Cup against the Blues on 6 March 2010. That came three days before Piquionne and Grant were 2-1 losers in a Barclays Premier League encounter between the same clubs, also played at Fratton Park.

• The last Boleyn Ground encounter saw West Ham United win 2-0 against Birmingham in a tense midweek encounter back on 10 February 2010, with Alessandro Diamanti's free-kick on the stroke of half-time easing the Hammers' relegation nerves. Carlton Cole added a second on 67 minutes to wrap up the win.

West Ham United: Green, Upson, Ilunga (Spector 45), Tomkins, Parker (Noble 86), Kovac, Behrami, Faubert, Cole, Diamanti, Mido (Ilan 66)
Subs not used: Stech, Da Costa, Collison, Stanislas

Birmingham City: Hart, Ridgewell, Carr, Dann, Gardner, Johnson, Bowyer (Madera 77), Fahey (McFadden 67), Ferguson, Jerome, Phillips
Subs not used: Taylor, Larsson, Vignal, Parnaby, Jervis

• The Hammers have never won this trophy, having lost the 1966 and 1981 finals. Birmingham lost the 2001 final on penalties to Liverpool but were victors over two legs against rivals Aston Villa in the 1963 edition.

• The record win in this competition was achieved by the Hammers with a 10-0 success against Bury in the second round, second-leg match on 25 October 1983. Liverpool also won by this margin against Fulham in second round, first-leg match in the same season on 23 September 1983.

• West Ham have been defeated just once in the last eight games with Birmingham, with four victories in that run.

• Stern John's double in a 2-1 victory in October 2002 is the last time the Midlands club won at the Boleyn Ground.


Team news

Danny Gabbidon, Matthew Upson, Scott Parker, Freddie Sears and Freddie Piquionne could all return to the starting lineup after sitting out Saturday's win against Barnsley.

• Manager Avram Grant is definitely without Thomas Hitzlsperger (thigh), Jack Collison (knee) and Manuel da Costa (ankle). None are expected to return before February at the earliest. Goalkeeper Peter Kurucz (knee) is not expected to play at all this season.

• Herita Ilunga (hamstring), Kieron Dyer (thigh), Benni McCarthy (calf) and Junior Stanislas are suffering with muscle problems that will keep them out.

• Lars Jacobsen is cup-tied but is back in full training having been kept out with a troublesome heel since the Wigan Athletic match on 27 November. Fellow defender Matt Fry has extended his loan at Charlton Athletic for another month, although is cup-tied for the Hammers in the FA Cup.

• Tal Ben Haim has returned to Portsmouth after his loan spell.

• Birmingham are still without James McFadden, with the Scotland attacker's knee ligament injury set to keep him out until February.

Lee Bowyer is in the middle of a three-match suspension and cannot face his former club.



• Tuesday's referee is Phil Dowd, who began refereeing in 1984. He was promoted to the Barclays Premier League list of referees in 2001. This is his tenth season as a top-flight referee.

• He was the fourth official at the 2006 FA Cup final between West Ham United and Liverpool at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

• He took charge of the Hammers 3-1 home defeat by Manchester City on 11 November, having been the man in the middle for the Blues 2-0 home defeat by Everton on 2 October.

Last time out

FA Cup third round
Saturday 8 January 2011
West Ham United 2-0 Barnsley
West Ham: Green, Spector, Faubert, Reid, Tomkins, Noble, Boa Morte, Barrera, Obinna (Parker 76), Hines (Edgar 89), Nouble (Piquionne 83)
Subs not used: Boffin, Upson, Spence, Sears
Goals: Spector 29, Piquionne 90

FA Cup third round
Saturday 8 January 2011
Millwall 1-4 Birmingham City
Birmingham: Taylor, Murphy, Dann, Parnaby, Jiranek, Gardner, Beausejour, Mutch, Hleb (Fahey 61), Derbyshire (Jerome 70), Zigic (Phillips 70)
Subs not used: Doyle, Johnson, Larsson, Madera


• West Ham United and Birmingham meet for the second time this season. On 6 November, Freddie Piquionne (48) and Valon Behrami (58) put the Hammers into a commanding position before Victor Obinna saw Ben Foster push his effort on to the bar. The Blues came back into it with goals from Cameron Jerome (64) and former Academy product Liam Ridgewell (73). Referee Michael Oliver turned down late appeals for a West Ham penalty after Lars Jacobsen was fouled.

Birmingham: Foster, Ridgewell, Carr, Dann, Johnson, Fahey (Gardner 59), Larsson, Ferguson, Hleb (Beausejour 59), Jerome (Bowyer 89), Zigic
Subs not used: Doyle, Parnaby, Derbyshire, Phillips

West Ham: Green, Gabbidon, Jacobsen, Upson, Ilunga, Parker, Behrami, Boa Morte (Dyer 83), Piquionne, Cole, Obinna (Kovac 89)
Subs not used: Stech, Reid, Tomkins, Barrera, McCarthy

Last six meetings (Premier League unless stated)

6 November 2010 - Birmingham City 2-2 West Ham United
10 February 2010 - West Ham United 2-0 Birmingham City
12 December 2009 - Birmingham City 1-0 West Ham United
9 February 2008 - West Ham United 1-1 Birmingham City
18 August 2007 - Birmingham City 0-1 West Ham United
13 February 2006 - West Ham United 3-0 Birmingham City

Overall record v Birmingham City (all competitions) W 31 D 20 L 38

Ten-year League Cup record

West Ham United

2009/10 Third round (lost 3-1 after extra time at Bolton Wanderers)
2008/09 Third round (lost 1-0 at Watford)
2007/08 Quarter-final (lost 2-1 v Everton)
2006/07 Third round (lost 2-1 at Chesterfield)
2005/06 Third round (lost 1-0 at Bolton Wanderers)
2004/05 Third round (lost 1-0 at Chelsea)
2003/04 Third round (lost 1-0 after extra time at Tottenham Hotspur)
2002/03 Third round (lost 1-0 v Oldham Athletic)
2001/02 Second round (lost 6-5 on penalties following 0-0 draw at Reading)
2000/01 Fourth round (lost 2-1 v Sheffield Wednesday)

Birmingham City

2009/10 Third round (lost 2-0 v Sunderland)
2008/09 Second round (Lost 2-0 v Southampton)
2007/08 Third round (lost 3-0 v Blackburn)
2006/07 Fourth round (lost 1-0 v Liverpool)
2005/06 Quarter-final (lost 1-0 v Manchester United)
2004/05 Third round (lost 1-0 at Fulham)
2003/04 Second round (lost 1-0 at Blackpool)
2002/03 Second round (lost 2-0 at Preston)
2001/02 Third round (lost 6-0 at Manchester City)
2000/01 Final (lost 5-4 on penalties following 1-1 draw with Liverpool)

Old boys

• Matthew Upson played 128 games for the Midlands side during a four-year stay from 2003 to 2007 before joining the Hammers. The former Birmingham captain scored five goals during his time at St. Andrews.

• Lee Bowyer made 60 appearances for West Ham United in two spells. The first saw him play eleven games in a six-month spell before a move to Newcastle United in 2003. The midfielder returned to the Boleyn Ground in 2006 for a three-year stay, which saw him play 49 times, scoring five goals.

• Liam Ridgewell started off life in the West Ham United Academy before moving to Aston Villa in February 2001.

• Among the other players who have represented both clubs are Alan Curbishley, Jimmy Bloomfield, Kenny J Brown, Julian Dicks, Eamonn Dolan, Harry Hooper, David Kelly, Stan Lazaridis, Mike Newell and Sam Small.

General information

For ticket information, click here. For details on getting to the Boleyn Ground, click here.


The forecast is for showers with temperatures in east London peaking at around 5C on Tuesday night.

Travel information

West Ham United supporters attending the Barclays Premier League visit of Arsenal on Saturday 15 January should take note of the following important travel information.

The following public transport services will be affected on Saturday 15 January -

·The London Underground District line will be closed between Tower Hill and Upminster. However, between 3pm and 9.30pm, this closure will be reduced to no service between Tower Hill and Upney eastbound and between Barking and Tower Hill westbound. Replacement buses will operate.

·The London Underground Hammersmith and City line will be closed between Liverpool Street and Barking.

·The London Underground Central line will be closed between Holborn and White City.

·The London Underground Metropolitan line will be closed between Moorgate and Aldgate.

·Due to planned engineering work, the c2c line will be closed between Fenchurch Street and Barking. All trains will divert to Liverpool Street. Train services will be unable to call at West Ham, Limehouse or Fenchurch Street. Trains diverting to Liverpool Street will additionally call at Stratford.

·National Express East Anglia services will run to a normal Saturday timetable.