Monday, January 11, 2010

Blackburn preview

There was a suggestion that the appointment of Roberto Mancini was delayed until after a tricky set of fixtures, to allow the Italian a relatively easy run to kick off his tenure in charge of the club. If this was the case then I'm sure a home game against Blackburn was one where the three points is very much expected.

Mancini has returned a 100% record so far, with wins against Stoke and Wolves in the league and of course Middlesbrough in the FA Cup. With the postponement of the Carling Cup tie against United this has given the squad currently hit by injury and international duty a few extra days rest than they would ordinarily have had and (weather permitting of course) the games gives us an opportunity to jump upto fourth with a win.

Team wise, this game will still come too soon for the likes of Onouha, Ireland, Lescott or Bridge but Shaun Wright-Phillips and more likely Micah Richards could feature. It is unlikley that Patrick Vieira will make his debut on account of a muscle injury picked up during his final appearance for Inter last week.

Blackburn's record on the road has been miserable during 2009/10, winning only one of ten games, scoring seven and conceding twenty-four in the process. They are unlikely to arrive with too much ambition, with a likely gameplan to remain in the game until late before trying to snatch the points.

Mancini has been very pro-active during games judging by what we have seen so far, and clearly he is not afraid to switch formations and personnel if he sees fit. We should therefore see plenty of adjustment with the likes of Bellamy, Tevez and Petrov switching around the attacking positions.

I have been impressed with what I have seen and heard from Mancini so far. He appears very focused on the task at hand, knows the opposition he is up against and has clear plans in place according to the situation of the game.

During the run of consecutive draws that marked the end of the Hughes regime, this would have been a fixture that would have raised some worries. Mancini was brought in to improve upon that failing and tomorrow evening will be another test of that. It is one I expect him to pass.

Prediction: City to win 2-0.

Game notes:
  • Six of the past nine fixtures between the two sides have ended in a draw.
  • 17% of City's goals this season have come from deflections.
  • Blackburn have earned ten points from losing positions this season.
  • Blackburn have only scored in three consecutive games once this season. This game offerss a chance to double that.

vote it up!

1 comment:

Sheffield Blue said...

have you seen this?