Rovers must end City's home rule to earn double
Saturday 25 February 2012
Blackburn may have won at Old Trafford but to complete the Manchester double this afternoon they will have to end one of the Premier League's most consistent home records.
It is almost a year since City failed to win a league game at the City of Manchester Stadium, Damien Duff's goal earning Fulham a point, since when they have reeled off 17 straight wins. No side has won a league fixture there since Everton in December 2010.
"We go into home matches really confident because of our record here, we're comfortable here and teams know that," said Joleon Lescott, whose partnership in central defence with Vincent Kompany has seen only six goals conceded at home. "Our tactics aren't that much different when we play [at home]. Maybe it's the opposition who change because we've done so well here."
Blackburn's 3-2 win at United on New Year's Eve was the surprise of the season. Yakubu's two goals and rampaging performance were key and Lescott is well aware of the damage the Nigerian can cause: "I know big Yak from my Everton days; if you switch off for a second, he will punish you."
Blackburn, who lost their last away game 7-1 at Arsenal and have already lost 4-0 to City this season, face the remainder of their relegation struggle without Chris Samba. The centre-half was set to complete an £11m move to Anzhi Makhachkala last night. Eric Black, Rovers' assistant manager, insisted Rovers have adequate replacements for Samba. He said: "[Samba] hasn't played for a few weeks and our performances have been exceptional. There was a blip at Arsenal, but you look at the performances against Newcastle, Fulham and QPR and the guys that have been in there have done exceptionally well."
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