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Savage urges Rams to believe in Cup dream ahead of Brum clash

Robbie Savage has told his Derby County team-mates to believe they can win the FA Cup ahead of tomorrow's fifth-round tie with Premier League high-fliers Birmingham City.

As a former Birmingham player, Savage (pictured below) is not exactly lacking motivation for the clash at Pride Park, but is happy to ramp up expectations following a morale-boosting 3-0 win over Newcastle in the Championship in midweek.

"This is going to be a fantastic occasion and something we are all looking forward to," Savage said. "Of course we are underdogs, we all know that. They are a Premier League side who have done superbly this season.

"However, we are one of 16 teams still left in the competition and we have to go into the tie not just believing that we can win the game, but with the belief that we can go all the way (to lifting the trophy).

"I mean, why not? We have shown that, on our day, we are a match for anyone, and a lot of the so-called bigger names in the Premier League have already been knocked out.

"There is no point taking the field without belief, and I for one will be making sure that we are well fired up when the whistle goes at 3pm."

Birmingham have effectively secured their Premier League status for next season, but come into the tie on the back of a disappointing 2-0 defeat at West Ham in midweek.

Elsewhere on Saturday, two of the nine remaining Premier League sides in the competition clash at Eastlands as Manchester City play host to Stoke City.

And Potters boss Tony Pulis is vowing to give 100pc in pursuit of a place in the quarter-finals.

"I am looking to pick a positive team and go there to have a right go," Pulis said. "The game is an important one for us and the 5,000 or 6,000 supporters who will make the trip.

"They will want to see the team have a go and we'll want to give it a go. If you can catch it right it is a knockout competition and a one-off game."

Manchester City will be without new signing Adam Johnson, who is cup-tied having played against City for former club Middlesbrough in the third round.

But the youngster has already made a big impression on his team-mates following a superb performance in the 2-0 midweek win over Bolton Wanderers.

"Some supporters might have been surprised by the quality and confidence he showed against Bolton but the players weren't," ex-Everton man Joleon Lescott said.

"He was outstanding in that game. We have seen what he can do in training and we know what he brought to the team in Middlesbrough.

"He can't play in the Cup but I am sure he is going to be a really good addition to the squad for us."

Chelsea will be without star defenders Ashley Cole and John Terry for their clash with Cardiff City at Stamford Bridge.

Cole has been ruled out for up to three months with a fractured ankle suffered in the 2-1 defeat at Everton, while Terry has been given compassionate leave to spend time with his wife in Dubai following allegations about his private life.

In contrast, Cardiff will simply be glad to be allowed to play the game after having a winding-up order adjourned for 28 days in the High Court earlier this week.

Saturday's other ties see Championship strugglers Reading at home to league leaders West Brom, and what is sure to be a fiery clash on the south coast between Southampton and Portsmouth.

On Sunday Owen Coyle (pictured above) and his Bolton side face a home clash with Tottenham, with both teams seeking to bounce back from midweek Premier League defeats to Manchester City and Wolves respectively.

Cash-strapped Crystal Palace play host to Martin O'Neill's Aston Villa, while Fulham will be fancied to see off the threat of League Two side Notts County.


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