FA Cup Preview: Manchester City v Blackburn Rovers
By Football News
Blackburn Rovers face English football's most daunting prospect on Wednesday - a trip to the Etihad Stadium to play Manchester City.
Gary Bowyer's Championship outfit earned an FA Cup third-round replay by holding City,placed second in the Premier League, to a 1-1 draw at Ewood Park on January 4, with Scott Dann's second-half equaliser cancelling out Alvaro Negredo's opener for the visitors.
However, Manuel Pellegrini's men are a fearsome proposition at home, as they have won 14 of their 15 games in all competitions at the Etihad this season - scoring an incredible 59 goals in the process.
City's last home match ended in a 6-0 thrashing of West Ham in their League Cup semi-final first leg last week, which saw the in-form Negredo bag his second hat-trick for the club after his close-season move from Sevilla.
That represented the sixth time City have scored five or more goals in a fixture on home soil in 2013-14, and European champions Bayern Munich remain the only team to have come away from the Etihad with a victory this term.
Pellegrini's side are also in fine form in the Premier League and posted their sixth straight win in a 2-0 success at Newcastle United on Sunday, with Negredo again getting himself on the scoresheet.
However, Blackburn can take some heart from their recent form, which has seen them lose just one of their last eight matches in all competitions.
That run includes two consecutive away victories in the Championship, and Bowyer's side sit eighth in the second tier following their 1-0 home win over Doncaster Rovers on Saturday.
Blackburn's main attacking threat is sure to come from striker Jordan Rhodes, who has scored 16 goals in 25 league appearances this campaign.
The Ewood Park outfit also have a fully fit squad to choose from for the clash, while City will be without a number of first-team regulars.
Midfielder Samir Nasri confirmed on Monday that he will be out for around eight weeks with a knee injury picked up at Newcastle, while Sergio Aguero (calf), Stevan Jovetic and Jack Rodwell (both hamstring) all remain sidelined.