Preview: Man City v Blackburn

07 January 2010 02:57
Roberto Mancini has a 100 per cent winning record since replacing Mark Hughes as Manchester City manager last month and will be confident of extending that record against a Blackburn side that has struggled on the road this season. Since Hughes was axed in the wake of the 4-3 victory against Sunderland, Mancini has presided over a 2-0 home win against Stoke City, 3-0 success at Wolves and 1-0 victory at Middlesbrough in the FA Cup. City's midweek Carling Cup semi-final first leg encounter with Manchester United was postponed because of this week's adverse weather conditions which also accounted for Rovers' last-four clash with Aston Villa. In contrast to City's recent success, Blackburn have failed to win any of their last eight league matches since beating Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium in November. They have drawn five league games since then and lost three, scoring only four goals in the process. Sam Allardyce's team have lacked a regular goalscorer all season with midfielder David Dunn currently top of the charts with five, while Jason Roberts has found the net just three times, El Hadji Diouf twice and Franco di Santo only once. The bad run has left Rovers just three points above the drop-zone and in need of a good set of results if they are to move into the relative safety of mid-table. It will be very difficult on Monday though as City are unbeaten at Eastlands in the league this season while Blackburn have lost seven of the ten games on their travels. City are expected to be without Stephen Ireland (hamstring), Nedum Onuoha (calf), Shaun Wright-Phillips(ankle), Joleon Lescott, Michael Johnson (both knee) and Wayne Bridge (cruciate knee ligamenrt injury) while Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor are away on African Cup of Nations duty. Allardyce's only injury doubts are Vince Grella (thigh) and Brett Emerton (groin). Last season City beat Rovers 3-1 at Eastlands thanks to goals by Felipe Caicedo, Robinho and Elano while Keith Andrews netted for Rovers.

Source: ESA