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Blackburn v Man City

Ewood Park
Saturday, 23 April
Kick-off: 1500 BST




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Blackburn striker Paul Dickov will miss the match because of a knee injury and may be joined on the sidelines by midfielder Robbie Savage (groin).

Morten Gamst Pedersen will have a fitness test on a calf injury.

Manchester City striker Jon Macken is hopeful of playing, despite being troubled by a hamstring problem.

Paul Bosvelt is also included in the squad after being axed for the midweek win over Birmingham, although he is unlikely to be given a start.



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Blackburn (from): Friedel, Neill, Flitcroft, Pedersen, Mokoena, Reid, Thompson, Matteo, Todd, Nelsen, Amoruso, Emerton, Tugay, Short, Stead, Savage, Johnson, Enckelman.
Man City (from): James, Weaver, Mills, Onouha, Dunne, Distin, Sommeil, Jordan, Thatcher, Croft, Bosvelt, S Wright-Phillips, McManaman, Reyna, Flood, Barton, Sibierski, Musampa, Fowler, Macken, B Wright-Phillips.


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Blackburn boss Mark Hughes:
"We can finally put this season to bed, and everybody's now looking forward to next season.
"But we're not on our holidays yet and we will keep them going until the end.

"The aim is to finish in the top half of the table. We've certainly got an opportunity to do that, and that would be a remarkable achievement."


Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce:
"I very much doubt we will get a Uefa Cup slot but I'm just pleased to keep winning football matches.
"There is no doubt the players have their tails up. People are fighting for their places in the team, working hard and striving to get better.

"We have four games left, we will try to win all four and then see where it takes us."




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BIG-MATCH FACTS


BLACKBURN ROVERS have shown strength of character in winning both Premiership matches, either side of the disappointment of FA Cup semi-final defeat by Arsenal. Now the Ewood Park club face Manchester City, in pursuit of three successive League victories for the first time since posting four on the spin between 12 April and 1 May last season.

Mark Hughes has guided Rovers from one off the foot to safety with a record of nine wins, ten draws and nine defeats in 28 games in charge. He feels criticism of the muscular tactics his side have adopted is unjustified, but their defensive record cannot be questioned. They've not conceded more than a single goal in a League game since Boxing Day and are striving for a fourth successive clean sheet.

Rovers moved off the bottom of the table with the point from this season's reverse fixture in November - their second successive 1-1 draw against City in the Premiership. Veteran former City striker Paul Dickov equalised with a 78th-minute penalty after being brought down by Danny Mills, who was sent off. Midfielder Antoine Sibierski had given the home side the lead with a tap-in.

MANCHESTER CITY acting manager Stuart Pearce takes his charges the short distance to Ewood Park, hoping to build on Wednesday's biggest win since the opening month of the season. The 3-0 eclipse of Birmingham, was second only to a 4-0 thrashing of Charlton at the City of Manchester Stadium on 28 August.

City seem likely to finish in mid table anonymity, so the only question remains whether Pearce gets the job permanently. He carries the popular vote with a record of two wins, two draws and one defeat from his five games since Kevin Keegan parted company with the Eastlands club.

City were lifted to the top of the Premiership table for the first time in their history, following the 2-3 victory in this corresponding fixture last season. Nicolas Anelka's late strike on 25 August 2003 settled a contest littered with goal-keeping errors.
 

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Blackburn have been very hard to play agianst recently.
Hughes has them playing 5 in midfield to stifle play, its been workign as they have been regularily picking up points.

I imagine its gonna be more of the same tomorrow, tense 1-1 draw, although 0-0 wouldn't suprise me either.
 

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I guess that's the "push for Europe" done for, eh?
 

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Yes I guess it is. It was a terrible match to be honest. Europe was always highly unlikely, but if we could have won this, we'd have been a point away from 7th. Oh well, at least we're in the top half now.
 
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