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David Thompson 24th Feb 2012 - 15:54

Four or more at the Etihad will keep Carlos out!


Manchester City v Blackburn

English Premier League

17:30 - live on Sky Sports 2

Match betting: Man City 1/5 Draw 5/1 Blackburn 14/1

Despite Roberto Mancini's side proving this week that they are capable of European success after thrashing UEFA Europa League holder's Porto 6-1 on aggregate, it was Carlos Tevez who took the limelight. Squad members such as City duo David Silva and Joleon Lescott showed support for the Argentine striker who has been largely absent for the last three months. Despite his conduct even Mancini has accepted that the contribution that Carlos Tevez can provide could be the difference in the club's bid to win the Premier League title.

Blackburn Rovers supporters will not relish the short trip to the Etihad Stadium. Rover's last away trip ended in an embarrassing 7-1 defeat at the hands of Arsenal and it is easy to see why the compilers have made the Lancashire outfit as big as 14/1 to win the match. Goal difference is all that keeps Steve Kean's men floating above the relegation zone and a heavy defeat here could well result in them slipping further down the league table.

One advantage for Rovers is that they have had two weeks rest since their last fixture but with City coming off their emphatic victory in the two-legs against Porto this so-called advantage could just be clutching at straws. However Steve Kean will be quick to remind his players of their recent achievements. Rovers took a deserved 3-2 win at Old Trafford on New Year's Eve, and have since won a point at Everton and beat QPR last time out.

Despite these accolades the Etihad has been a fortress for The Citizens. If City win, they will extend their run of home league wins to 18, and it would mean that on Monday it would be a year exactly since they last dropped a point at the Etihad Stadium, in a 1-1 draw with Fulham. Mancini will be keen to extend that run at home to Rovers and Bolton and put real pressure on their main rivals Manchester United who have tricky away ties, with trips to Norwich and Tottenham.

The main dilemma facing Italian Manager Mancini will be over who to pick on Saturday. Edin Dzeko, Kun Aguero and Mario Balotelli have all been in incredible form and with Yaya Toure back in the fray, he must decide who is in need of, and who won't take offense to a spell on the bench.

The return of centre-back Christopher Samba after his failed January transfer bid is a huge positive for Kean, however if Blackburn have any chance of troubling The Citizen's back-line then front-man Yakubu looks to be their only hope. The Nigerian striker can be backed at 10/1 to get on the scoresheet first and is 7/2 about anytime at the Etihad.

With the odds stacked so firmly in favour of the Manchester club the Match Winner Offer focuses on an enhancement in the goal markets. If Manchester City can repeat what Arsenal achieved and put just four or more goals past Blackburn then you will get winning odds as big as 3/1, originally 11/4.

Other than sticking City in your weekend accumulator as a banker the other bet worth a look might be the 10/11 available on the NO market about Both Teams To Score. City are 8/11 to keep a clean sheet, and personally I can't see Joe Hart being troubled on Saturday, so the 10/11 looks like a perfect way to extract some value in this one sided affair.



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