Birmingham City are hoping the fall-out from Arsenal's 4-0 defeat at the hands of Manchester United in the FA Cup fifth round at the weekend will give them the advantage when they play Arsene Wenger's men at St Andrew's on Saturday.
Alex McLeish's side go into the match after a two-week break from Premier League action; the Gunners, meanwhile, have had little time to get over their shock Cup exit. Only three days after their stunning defeat, they take on Italian giants AC Milan at the Emirates tomorrow night in the opening leg of the first knock-out round of the Champions' League.
Arsenal lead the Premier League table by five points and have lost away from home only once all season but defeat at the hands of the Old Trafford side in the fifth round of the FA Cup and that 5-1 thrashing at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur in the Carling Cup has exposed some frailties.
The last time Arsenal met Blues was as recently as January 12 when the two sides played out a 1-1 draw, with Emmanuel Adebayor giving the home side the lead from the penalty spot and Garry O'Connor snatching a 48th-minute equaliser.
Blues' enforced break came after consecutive draws against West Ham United at Upton Park and Derby County at St Andrew's and McLeish said: "I am trying to impress on players the need for individual performances at the moment. If players look at themselves and make sure they are coming off the pitch feeling they have done their absolute best then I think that will collectively help the team.
"Against West Ham, a team who have had massive investment in players, we did well and, on another day, we could have sneaked three points.
"We haven't dealt with our home games as well as we should have, despite some good performances, but we haven't quite been able to get those points that would have seen us clear. In saying that, because of the resilience and steel the team have shown, we are still in there with a shout of avoiding relegation."
Blues, who currently sit one place above Reading and the bottom three, will play seven of their remaining 12 league matches of the season on home soil, starting with this week-end's visit of Arsenal.
Meanwhile, the forthcoming clash with Portsmouth will have to be re-arranged following Pompey's progression into the sixth round of the FA Cup.
Harry Redknapp's side beat Preston North End 1-0 at Deepdale on Sunday and have been drawn away against Manchester United at Old Trafford on March 8.
McLeish had been due to take his side to Fratton Park on that day and the match will have to be rescheduled. The postponement means Blues have three home matches in a row, starting on Saturday. They entertain Tottenham on Saturday March 1 before Kevin Keegan's Newcastle United visit in a match to be televised live on Monday March 17.
* Blues co-owner David Sullivan has acquired another 25,000 shares. Along with his fellow owners, Ralph and David Gold, Sullivan has recently been trying to prevent majority shareholder Carson Yeung and his company, Grandtop International, installing two new directors on to the board. An announcement to the Stock Exchange yesterday said that Sullivan's company, Conegate Ltd, had acquired 25,000 shares at 36 pence per share and is now interested in 23.25 per cent of the stock, or about 18.94 million shares.