Kevin Phillips has been ruled out of West Bromwich Albion's match against Arsenal in the League Cup third round at The Hawthorns tonight.

Phillips scored four goals in two matches but has missed the past two matches because of a calf strain that he sustained in training.

But Tony Mowbray, the Albion manager, expects him to be fit to face Birmingham City at St Andrew's on Saturday.

Under different circumstances, Phillips might have played but Mowbray does not want to take risks, especially now that his squad is not far short of full fitness.

"Kevin Phillips is right on the verge of being fit and I think, at a push, we probably would have looked to try to get him out there," Mowbray said.

"But I don't see, at this moment, any point in pushing Kevin. The team are functioning OK and we're still scoring goals.

"We have to make sure when Kevin Phillips returns he is 100 per cent fit and he doesn't suffer a recurrence of his injury. We'll be giving him as much time as required and hopefully, by the weekend, he'll have trained a few days and be ready."

Mowbray, whose team defeated Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-0 on Sunday, has no fresh injury worries and finds his squad full of optimism.

"Everybody trained," he said. "There were a few play-ers a little bit stiffer than others but everyone is available."

Curtis Davies, the Albion defender, says that the club must maintain their momentum, even against the distinguished Premiership visitors. Albion have scored 14 goals in four Coca-Cola Championship matches and could take advantage of Arsenal's decision to play a weakened team.

Davies, reported to be a target for Arsenal in the summer before signing a new contract, said: "I wouldn't say you can play without any pressure on Tuesday because we want to keep our run going and keep doing well.

"No-one wants Arsenal to come here and just play us off the park. We want to do well, give a good account of ourselves as individuals and as a team. If we can keep playing the way we have been playing, I don't see why it won't be a good game.

"Will it be a yardstick for us? It depends what sort of team Arsenal bring here. If they bring a youngish side, which will still be a good team, you will want to beat them but it is not quite the same as beating the Henrys and the Toures.

"We have just got to play against the players who are put in front of us and try to win the game."

Albion should have no problem in raising their game against Arsenal, given their experience in the Premiership last season.

"Last year, we were always looking for the big game," Davies said. "When we went to Old Trafford and Liverpool, it was always a big game for us and everyone had to raise their game.

"Now, with all respect, teams are coming to us and they are raising theirs and we are thinking we have to play the lower teams.

"The lads should raise their game for every game, but it is harder to raise your game, for example, against Southend away compared to Arsenal away - and that is no disrespect to anyone.

"It is a mental thing but we know we are good enough to beat any team in the Championship and we just want to win every game."

Philippe Senderos, the Arsenal defender, will make his comeback, having been sidelined since June when he dislocated a shoulder in World Cup action for Switzerland.

Theo Walcott and Emmanuel Adebayor will also start as Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, looks to give action to fringe players and others recently returned from injury.

Manuel Almunia, Gael Clichy, Mathieu Flamini, Denilson, Alexandre Song and Jeremie Aliadiere could feature.