Ahead of the third round tie between the two championship sides, both Neil Warnock and Lee Clark could be cursing their luck off-field as their clubs suffer a crisis of illness and fitness.
Warnock revealed after the Bolton game that Leeds had struggled in the face of the sickness “virus” sweeping the nation, with Ross McCormack and Paddy Kenny both playing despite being doubts. Thorpe Arch has apparently become a hot-bed of contagious illness as several more have been struck down, including the manager himself. The names of those suffering have been kept a secret however, to avoid Birmingham being given an advantage prior to the match. Assistant manager Mick Jones will likely take control of the team in the 3rd round in the face of Warnock’s illness.
Birmingham are similarly struggling, with Marlon King, Peter Lovenkrands, Akwasi Asante and Nikola Zigic all likely to be missing due to injuries. Furthermore, on-loan winger Robert Hall has been denied permission to play in the cup by his parent club West Ham.
A slight boost will come to Leeds in the form of Aidy White’s return from suspension, despite the youngster not holding down a consistent place in the first team this season.
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