Birmingham's Lee Clark: 'Swansea are sweeping everybody aside'
Birmingham City's manager reckons their clash with Swansea City will be the hardest tie outside of the Premier League's top six.
The Swans take on Birmingham City at St Andrew's tonight (7.45pm) with Lee Clark warning his players against the Capital One Cup winners.
"Swansea's a club on the up, not just the team as it's been a club on the rise for many years. They are the holders of the competition and they're sweeping everybody aside at this moment in time in no matter what competition they play.
"I was at West Brom and Swansea won that game comfortably. They went to Valencia, not an easy place, and won that game comfortably and then they did the same at Crystal Palace over the weekend.
"They will make changes but I think their squad is that strong and the philosophy of how they want to play never changes that we know it's going to be a tough game."
It will be Swansea City's first game in the competition since they beat Bradford City at Wembley last February and clinched the first trophy in their history.
The Blues boss has told his side, who are currently 18th in the Championship, to be wary of the "quality" pass masters.
"If you give the ball back to a quality team like Swansea then you could spend a long time trying to get it back.
"Being without the ball for four or five minutes can seem like four or five hours, that's how it could be because they are so good.
"What I like about them is that there's a purpose to their passing, they pass the ball and they keep it because they want to try to break lines.
"They want to get their full-backs high up the pitch, they want to get their deep-lying striker into those little pockets to get the ball and slip people in, they've got widemen with pace who run in behind or come inside the full-backs.
"We've got to be aware of all of this and do the right thing without the ball and then when we've got it, we've got to play our own game."
Birmingham have picked up seven points from eight games – their latest a 4-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday.
They progressed to the third round of the competition after beating Plymouth and then Yeovil, via a penalty shootout.