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Premier League

  • April 25, 2011
  • • 20:00
  • • Ewood Park, Blackburn, Lancashire
  • Referee: A. Marriner
  • • Attendance: 23529
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Premier League Preview: Blackburn Rovers - Manchester City

Premier League Preview: Blackburn Rovers - Manchester City

City are looking to stay in the Champions League qualifying positions, while Rovers hope to put a halt to an alarming winless streak


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PROBABLE LINE-UPS
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.

LAST MEETING


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.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Paul RobinsonGoalkeeper
27Michel SalgadoDefender
22Christopher SambaDefender
4Phil JonesDefender
5G. GivetDefender
23Martin OlssonDefender
7Brett EmertonMidfielder
8David DunnMidfielder
13Jermaine JonesMidfielder
25BenjaniStriker
30Jason RobertsStriker
13Mark BunnGoalkeeper
31Grant HanleyDefender
10Mauro FormicaMidfielder
12M. PedersenMidfielder
9Nikola KalinicStriker
-Rubén RochinaStriker
18Mame Biram DioufStriker
1Joe HartGoalkeeper
5Pablo ZabaletaDefender
4Vincent KompanyDefender
6Joleon LescottDefender
13Aleksandar KolarovDefender
34Nigel De JongMidfielder
18Gareth BarryMidfielder
11Adam JohnsonMidfielder
42Yaya Touré Midfielder
21David SilvaStriker
45Mario BalotelliStriker
12Stuart TaylorGoalkeeper
38D. BoyataDefender
7James MilnerMidfielder
11Shaun Wright-PhillipsMidfielder
-Patrick VieiraMidfielder
10Edin DzekoStriker
7Striker
Players to Watch
Rubén Rochina
Rubén Rochina
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 0
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The young Spanish striker was signed from Barcelona B in January and it has taken the 20-year-old time to settle at the club. He started his first game for Rovers against Everton last weekend and impressed with good composure and awareness and showed good ability to pick out his team-mates.
Adam Johnson
Adam Johnson
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 11
Games Goals YC RC
4 1 0 0
Roberto Mancini has openly admitted City were not as good while Johnson was out with injury, so now he is back City’s Champions League aspirations could be back on. Johnson has made 36 appearances for City this season; he has scored seven goals and created four for his team-mates.
Prediction
City’s record may not be fantastic at Ewood Park but Blackburn’s current run will have drained confidence from the side. City are on a high after victory over United, and should use that confidence to record a comfortable victory that keeps them in the hunt for a Champions League place next season.
Editor's Prediction

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