City are looking to stay in the Champions League qualifying positions, while Rovers hope to put a halt to an alarming winless streak
|Blackburn Rovers: Robinson; Salgado, P.Jones, Samba, Olsson; Emerton, Dunn, J.Jones, Pedersen; Rochina, Roberts.|
Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov; Barry, De Jong; Johnson, Yaya Toure, Milner; Dzeko.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
• Blackburn have not recorded a victory in their last 10 matches, stretching back to late January when they beat West Brom at Ewood Park. That poor run of form has seen Rovers fall from seventh to 16th, increasing the pressure on manager Steve Kean.
• Despite their poor recent run Blackburn’s home record is actually not that bad; they have only lost one of the last five games and have only lost four games at home all season.
• In-form winger Junior Hoilett is unlikely to feature for Blackburn after he picked up a hamstring injury. The young winger has scored three of Rovers’ last five goals in the league.
• Kean will be without four key men as Rovers battle against relegation: midfielder Steven Nzonzi is suspended after picking up a red card against Arsenal, Ryan Nelsen is ruled out with a knee injury, Keith Andrews is still struggling with a groin problem and Vince Grella continues to be sidelined with a problematic Achilles injury.
• Rovers will be without a fifth big name for this match as Roque Santa Cruz will be unable to play against his parent club as part of his loan agreement.
• Manchester City’s recent form could also be better; they have won twice in their last five league matches and in their last Premier League outing they were comprehensively beaten by Liverpool. However, victory over fierce rivals Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-finals should have lifted their spirits.
• Ewood Park is not the best hunting ground for City: in the 57 games they have played against Blackburn they have only won in Lancashire 14 times.
• City are currently occupying the final Champions League qualification place as they sit fourth in the Premier League table. They are three points clear of Tottenham in fifth although Spurs do have a game in hand, and they are seven points clear of Liverpool in sixth.
• Roberto Mancini’s men have struggled on their travels this season compared to the other sides around them; City have lost the most away games of any of the top five with six, and victory in this game will be their seventh win on the road this season.
• Inspirational captain Carlos Tevez is unavailable for City after picking up a hamstring injury against Liverpool. The Argentine is unlikely to be available again this season although the chance to play in the FA Cup final may aid his recovery. Jerome Boateng (hamstring) and Shay Given (shoulder) are also unavailable for Mancini, whilst Kolo Toure is still suspended after failing a drugs test.
Saturday, 11 September 2010: Manchester City 1-1 Blackburn Rovers
When these two sides met earlier in the season Blackburn battled hard to earn themselves their first point on the road, ending City’s 100 per cent home record in the process. Nikola Kalinic opened the scoring for Rovers in the first half, but Patrick Vieira levelled the scores in the 56th minute and the game ended all square.