The Blackburn vs Manchester City FA Cup match will take place this Saturday, January 4, 2014 (4:45 AM Pacific). The Third Round of the longest running tournament in football history will commence with last season’s FA Cup runners-up Manchester City travelling to Ewood Park to face Championship side Blackburn Rovers.
Manchester City are rapidly gathering momentum in their bid to win the Premier League title and manager Manuel Pellegrini will now be hoping that his side can focus on the FA Cup after a painful defeat to Wigan Athletic in the tournament last season.
While many Premeir League sides may feel that the FA Cup is a distraction, the Citizens will certainly go all out with the aim to triumph in the prestigious tournament, given the strength in depth in their side. The Citizens head into the clash in great form and will be confident of a victory over Blackburn this weekend.
After a couple of tumultuous years at Blackburn, a sense of stability seems to have returned to Ewood Park under Gary Bowyer. Rovers are now within touching distance of the play-off positions after their win against Leeds United and will be hoping to replicate a similar performance when the daunting prospect of Manchester City pay a visit.
Although it seems like a mammoth task for Bowyer’s side, the beauty of the FA Cup lies in the tournament’s nature of throwing up an upset and Rovers will surely have a right go at the multi-million City squad as they will have nothing to lose.
Rovers moved quickly in the January transfer window to acquire the services of Tom Cairney and Rudy Gestede on permanent deals and the two are most probably set to start after playing a big part in their sides’ victory over Leeds United on New Year’s Day.
Top scorer Jordan Rhodes will be leading the line for Blackburn with the likes of Gestede, Cairney, Campbell and King providing support. Ruben Rochina and Lee Williamson will be pushing for a start, while Jason Lowe returns from a one-match suspension and will also be available for selection.
Grant Hanley and Scott Dann look set to start at the heart of the defence and the pair will probably be accompanied by Tommy Spurr and Ben Marshall in the full-back positions.
The likes of Sergio Aguero, Martin Demichelis, Stevan Jovetic and Micah Richards are struggling with various injuries and are doubtful for the clash.
However, despite all the injuries, Manuel Pellegrini will have the luxury of making a few changes to the side that was victorious against Swansea City in midweek.
Costel Pantilimon looks set to return to the starting line-up in place of Joe Hart while Gael Clichy, Joloen Lescott and Dedryck Boyata will also be probably handed starts. Out-of-favour duo Javi Garcia and Jack Rodwell could be marshaling the midfield while David Silva may also return after serving his one-match suspension.
Edin Dzeko will be leading the line for the Citizens and the Bosnian striker will be supported by the likes of Jesus Navas and James Milner from the wings.
Blackburn Rovers (Probable XI): Eastwood, Spurr, Hanley, Dann, Marshall; King, Taylor, Cairney, DJ Campbell; Rhodes, Gestede
Manchester City (Probable XI): Pantilimon; Clichy, Lescott, Kompany, Boyata; Milner, Rodwell, Garcia, Silva, Navas; Dzeko
Manchester City: W W W W W
Blackburn Rovers: W W D L W
25/02/2012 Man. City 3 – 0 Blackburn (Premier League)
01/10/2011 Blackburn 0 – 4 Man. City (Premier League)
Blackburn vs Manchester City Prediction
Although Manchester City go into the clash as clear favorites, smaller sides tend to raise their game against bigger opponents, especially in the FA Cup, and it will certainly be no walk in the park for the Citizens.
Blackburn have been very good at home this season, losing only on three occasions, and Bowyer’s men should not be intimidated by City heading into the game, as the Premier League side have not been very good on their travels.
Jordan Rhodes can cause the City defence problems and Pellegrini’s men will have to perform well in order to keep the striker quiet, while Blackburn will certainly have to be at their best to negate the threat posed by Dzeko, Navas and Silva.
City have an embarrassment of riches in terms of talent in their side, even if wholesale changes are made to the starting lineup, and should be able register a convincing victory over the Lancashire side. Blackburn Rovers 1 – 3 Manchester City.
Blackburn vs Manchester City Television
The match will be televised on Fox Sports 1 USA, & Fox Deportes, on Saturday at 4:45 AM Pacific.
Blackburn 1-1 Manchester City Highlights