A replay is not ideal for Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini. A win on Wednesday will see his title chasing side play in five domestic cup games over the month of January, in addition to Premier League commitments.
The initial tie could have been worse too; City were left to hang on for the final nine minutes with ten men after Derick Boyata was sent off. Should Rovers be eliminated, they will certainly rue the goalless evaporation of those final minutes at Ewood Park in the first game. Tom Cairney, who has recently signed permanently from Hull, had the best opportunity to win it for Blackburn but saw his shot fly wide of Costel Pantilimon’s post.
Manchester City are in scintillating form at the moment, winning nine of their past ten games and climbing to the top of the Premier League in the process. Rovers’ manager Lee Bowyer will draw confidence however from the fact that Blackburn are the one team City failed to beat. Rovers outshone some big names too; those ten games involve victories over th e likes of Bayern Munich, Arsenal and Liverpool.
Rover’s main goal threat is Jordan Rhodes, the Scottish poacher has netted sixteen league goals already this season, and his movement and finishing will cause problems to City’s backline. Like City the cup may prove an unwelcome distraction for Blackburn, with Rovers chasing the playoff places in the Championship.
The winner of the tie will face a home game against either Bristol City or Watford in the next round.
KICK-OFF: Wednesday , 8:10pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS:
Blackburn 1 (Dann) Manchester City (Negredo), FA Cup, January 2014
Manchester City 3 (Balotelli, Aguero, Dezeko) Blackburn 0, Premier League, February 2012
Blackburn 0 Manchester City 4 (Johnson, Balotelli, Nasri, Savic) Premier League, October 2011
Blackburn are the only team City have not beaten in their last ten matches in all competitions.
Blackburn have won the trophy six times, in comparison to City’s five.
Rovers have not beaten City in ten matches across all competitions.
Blackburn’s Jordan Rhodes has scored more league goals this season, 16, than any City player.
Manchester City to win: 1.08
Blackburn to win: 23.0
TV: Live on ITV 1 at 8:10pm, highlights on ITV 1 at 10.55pm
Video: Blackburn will be very close, says Pellegrini