Blackburn Rovers will host Manchester City on Monday night, 25th April, as both teams look to gain a strong finish to the English Premier League season. Manchester City has had a very different 2010-2011 Premier League campaign in comparison to
Blackburn, thus, this encounter gains utmost importance to both the clubs in different ways. Ewood Park will undoubtedly be a venue for a fantastic match of the season, thus, let’s takes a look at how both teams might line up...
Blackburn Rovers are witnessing a dip in their form at the worst part of the season currently. Steve Kean’s men are in deep trouble as they haven’t won any of their last five competitive fixtures. Their woeful run of form began in January 2011, making them
slip from 7th to 16th position in the English Premier League table.
The Lancashire club are now a part of a vastly volatile relegation battle, a war which will decide whether or not Blackburn will spend another season in the English Premier League or not.
Blackburn’s last Premier League encounter ended in a loss to Everton so their morale is already at an all-time low. However, Rovers can take heart from the fact that they held Manchester City to a 1-1 draw earlier in the season when both teams met at the
City of Manchester Stadium in September, 2010.
Manchester City is currently in a do-or-die scenario. Roberto Mancini’s men gained a comprehensive victory against Manchester United last weekend at the Wembley stadium in the FA Cup semi-final.
Now they must turn their attention to the English Premier League where they are competing for the 4th place with the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and, under the current circumstances, Arsenal as well. Manchester City lost their last Premier
League encounter against Liverpool so the pressure is now on Mancini to get his team back to winning ways in domestic terms.
Out of their last five competitive fixtures, City have won three and lost two. If City fails to win on Monday, Mancini’s men will have effectively handed over the initiative to Tottenham Hotspur, playing against Manchester City at the end of the season.
Currently 4th in the Premier League rankings, City has an advantage of having played lesser games than their immediate rivals, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.
Ryan Nelson and Keith Andrews are the main injury worries for Blackburn Rovers, already deprived of David Hoilett’s services due to the striker’s hamstring injury. Moreover, Vince Grella is also a doubt for the encounter against Manchester City because of
his achilles tendon issues.
Blackburn Rovers expected line up: Paul Robinson, Michel Salgado, Chris Samba, Phil Jones, Gael Givet, Martin Olsson, Brett Emerton, David Dunn, Morten Gamst-Pederson, Roque Santa Cruz, Benjamin Mwaruwari
Alternatively, Manchester City is still fretting on the hamstring injury that was sustained by their captain and talisman, Carlos Tevez, in the loss to Liverpool two weeks ago. Jerome Boateng is also out of action for the Citizens as he is recovering from
a knee injury and Shay Given is sidelined for the rest of the season because of his shoulder injury.
Manchester City expected line up: Joe Hart, Micah Richards, Joleon Lescott, Vincent Kompany, Aleksandar Kolarov, Yaya Toure, Nigel de Jong, David Silva, Gareth Barry, Adam Johnson, Mario Balotelli
Manchester City has had trouble against sides such as Blackburn due to their counter attacking tactics. Nonetheless, Roberto Mancini’s men are expected to take away all three points from Ewood Park on Monday night. Prediction: Blackburn Rovers 0-2 Manchester