West Ham will fancy chances of reaching Carling Cup final
West Ham will now fancy their chances of reaching a first Carling Cup final since 1981 after drawing Birmingham in the semi finals.
The Hammers will have a point to prove against Birmingham as it means a return to their former stomping ground for chairmen David Gold and David Sullivan.
Meanwhile, West Ham fans have still not forgotten that it was Birmingham who condemned them to relegation from the Premier League in 2003.
The draw is not unkind to West Ham as they have a strong record against Birmingham, losing just one of the last eight meetings between the pair.
Furthermore, it has been West Ham who have progressed on the last two occasions they have met Birmingham in the Carling Cup, winning 3-2 in the fourth round in 2000.
Previous to that, West Ham qualified for the third round of the competition in 1990, which was also the last time that the two faced off over two legs.
West Ham’s betting odds are 9/2 to win the Carling Cup, while Birmingham have dropped to 4/1 following their victory in the quarter finals over Midlands rivals Aston Villa.
The other semi final sees Ipswich, the only Championship side left in the tournament, take on Carling Cup favourites Arsenal.
Arsene Wenger’s team are now 1/2 to win the Carling Cup after receiving the plum draw, but should not expect things to be easy.
Two years ago Manchester United faced Championship outfit Derby in the semi finals and fell to a surprise 1-0 defeat in the first leg away, before recovering in the second leg to reach the final.
Ipswich are 14/1 to win the Carling Cup and will stand a fair chance if they find a way of beating Arsenal over two legs.
A £10 bet on Birmingham winning the Carling Cup would return £40. New Ladbrokes customers can sign up here for a free £10 bet.