After a disappointing midweek defeat against German powerhouses Bayern Munich, Roberto Mancini will be hoping to rally the troops and put down any form of dissent in time for a tough clash at Ewood Park against Blackburn this afternoon.
Steve Kean will be striving for a win after a poor start for the Venky owned side. Further losses could put his job in jeprody as he has been less than impressive at the helm of Rovers during his tenure.
Steve Kean remained upbeat, despite the mounting pressure, stating on Blackburn’s official website: “A result would be great for our season
Last time we were at Ewood we had a fantastic result, so we have to go out there again and be positive and be quite aggressive without the ball.
We’ve certainly scored goals in the last few weeks, what we need to do now is be more solid when we lose possession.
We’d like to keep playing fast-flowing football and creating chances but we need to keep a focus on the change over of possession and not being too open.
I’m a believer, and we’ve hammered this to the players all week, that everybody is a defender when you lose the ball.
We attack as a team so I think it is only right that we defend as a team.”
Blackburn Rovers Team News:
Givet, Scott Dann and Michel Salgado will be given late fitness tests ahead of the game this afternoon.
Martin Olsson is out through suspension following his dismissal against Newcastle.
Player to watch: Christopher Samba
The huge defender is a defensive and offensive juggernaught. While solid in the back line, his attacking threat is not to be underestimated.
One decent cross could decide the game if Samba gets on the end of it.
Manchester City Team News:
With Tevez suspended and Dzeko walking a fine line, Balotelli might find himself poised to start for the blues. Regardless, City have a plethora of attacking options at their disposal and it shouldn’t have too great an effect.
De Jong may find himself on the bench while Adam Johnson is touch and go.
Player to watch: Samir Nasri
With teams double and triple marking David Silva, Nasri could find the space he needs to tear Blackburn apart.
His debut has yet to be matched but I feel that Blackburns feeble defence will crumble in the midst of his silky skills.
Match Facts & Stats
I predict a topsy turvy game in which both sides will be on the attack. While City are superior in every sense, one quick counter attack could turn the tide for either team. Although City have been in the midst of somewhat of a disaster in terms of player relations, certain players will have something to prove and will be looking to impress. I see a City win – Blackburn 1-3 City.
Barclays Premier League – Sunday 15th October home against Aston Villa at 3pm.