Carling Cup preview: Pardew plans hit by injuries as Magpies aim for last eight

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The Independent Football

Both Steve Kean and Alan Pardew intend to field strong sides in tonight's tie at Ewood Park. The two teams are far apart in the Premier League: Blackburn Rovers are bottom, Newcastle United are fourth, but they will share the same approach in their push for the quarter-finals.

Pardew's Newcastle are unbeaten in the league so far, thereby allowing him to push in the cup competitions as well. "You can only strive for cups if you've got success in the Premier League," Pardew said. "Fortunately for us we have 19 points so that's an outstanding effort by the team and it gives us a good situation. My team selection will be very much what I think is needed for the game."

There will be some enforced changes for Newcastle, though. Cheick Tioté has a knee injury, Shola Ameobi has a hamstring problem and Steven Taylor is a doubt with a broken nose.

Steve Kean is unlikely to make too many unforced changes, although the midfielder Steven N'Zonzi is suspended.

Stoke City v Liverpool: Ambitious Pulis is up for the cup

Tony Pulis has promised to "do his damnedest" to beat Liverpool at Britannia Stadium tonight, knowing that the cups remain Stoke's most likely path to glory.

"I don't think our football club will win the Barclays Premier League in the next few years," Pulis conceded. "So our biggest aim is to stay in the league, that's our priority, but what we also want to do is try to do well in the cup competitions.

"We've got a tough game against Liverpool, but we'll pick a team to try to win that game. We'll do our damnedest. That's what we are trying to achieve."

Jonathan Woodgate could return to Stoke's team after an injury, although Jermaine Pennant will require a late fitness test.

Liverpool's Jay Spearing hopes to be selected. "If I do get the chance to play it will be a massive game for me," the midfielder said.

Everton v Chelsea: Villas-Boas looks to young promise

Andre Villas-Boas is likely to bring some younger players into his Chelsea side for tonight's game at Everton. Romelu Lukaku, Josh McEachran, Oriol Romeu and Ryan Bertrand – all of whom started in the last round against Fulham, where Chelsea triumphed on penalties – are likely to play, along with fringe players Salomon Kalou, Florent Malouda, Alex and Paulo Ferreira. Didier Drogba and Jose Bosingwa, both sent off at Loftus Road on Sunday, will be suspended, as will Ashley Cole.

For Everton, Tim Cahill and Louis Saha could start. The pair were on the bench for Sunday's game at Fulham, but after they came on Everton scored twice in stoppage time to win 3-1. David Moyes said that he has "a few knocks" to assess, though James McFadden, re-signed last week, is unlikely to be ready in time.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester City: Platt warns against complacency

Manchester City assistant manager David Platt has demanded that the team do not become distracted by their 6-1 win over Manchester United ahead of tonight's Carling Cup game at Molineux.

"It is something that will be at the back of his [Roberto Mancini's] mind," said Platt, "to make sure we don't let what happened at the weekend take away focus on what the position in hand is – and that is progress in the Carling Cup." Last season City were eliminated by West Bromwich Albion. "I couldn't believe how disappointed he [Mancini] was last year when we got knocked out," Platt recalled.

City will not have Owen Hargreaves available as he has a calf injury, while the Wolves manager Mick McCarthy is expected to make changes to his team. Adlène Guedioura, Nenad Milijas, Sam Vokes, Dorus De Vries, Jody Craddock, Stephen Hunt, Matt Doherty and George Elokobi are all in contention.

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