Thursday, 29 September 2011

Blackburn Rovers v Manchester City

After a disappointing result in the mid-week Champions League game against Bayern Munich, and the other distractions that created, City will be looking to bounce straight back with a good performance against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.

Blackburn currently sit in 17th spot in the league with 4 points, 3 of those being gifted to them by 2 Arsenal own goals. Steve Kean has come in for a lot of criticism since taking over from Sam Allardyce and the result against Arsenal may have just give him a little reprieve from the demonstrations calling for him to be sacked. Last weekend's 3-1 loss to Newcastle wont have helped his case though.

The same fixture last season saw City run out 1-0 winners on the day with the solitary goal coming from Edin Dzeko. After his reaction to being subbed on Tuesday though he may find himself starting the game on the bench. This, along with the club's suspension of Carlos Tevez could mean Mario Balotelli gets his first Premiership start of the season.

Balotellit has scored twice in his last two appearances for the club, one against Birmingham in the Carling Cup and one coming off the bench against Everton in the Premier League. By all accounts Mario has been working hard in training to the point where Mancini has praised his attitude in recent club press conferences.  

One positive to come from mid-week was the return of Nigel De Jong and I for one can't wait for him to get back into the swing of things as he is part of the backbone of the squad. This will throw up another problem for Mancini though; Who does he drop from the holding midfield role, Gareth Barry or Yaya Toure? Opinions will be divided over that one I'm sure and it may partly depend on who Mancini decides to play in the left back slot.

There were a few disappointing overall performances on Tuesday and we may see a number of changes made to the squad of Saturday. Once again City came undone with a set piece (which incidentally was offside although you wont find that mentioned anywhere) and the formidable Chris Samba will be one of the players City will need to watch from dead ball situations around the 18 yard box.

Another player that may pose a problem is Ruben Rochina. The Spanish forward joined Blackburn on a 4 year deal from Barcelona last January and has scored 4 goals in his last 6 games in all competitions. Goodwillie and Yakubu make up the rest of Blackburn's striking options.

With teams immediately around City looking likely to win their games it's important that City continue their good Premier League form (tell me you didn't just re-read half of that sentence in Mancini's voice, and if you didn't I bet you have now!). Blackburn have conceded 13 goals in the league so far, 6 of them at home so City should be looking to press home their attacking abilities by hopefully getting a big decent goal difference out of the game at the end of the 90 minutes.

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