UK time is: 06:21:34
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Blackburn Rovers vs. Manchester City

Ewood Park

11/03/2007

4pm

On Sky

MCFC at Rovers

7500 masochists make the short trip to Blackburn on Sunday looking for a City win that would take them to their first cup semi-final since 1981.

The turnout will be excellent, the support for the team unrivalled but you cannot help but wonder which Manchester City will bother to turn up.

12 months ago City faced West Ham in the FA Cup quarter final. All the talk was of City`s best chance of winning a trophy in 30 years. A home tie with West Ham was as good as could have been asked for and expectations were high.

City lost that game 2-1, but far worse than the result was the performance. The team failed to turn up for the big occasion and West Ham deserved their win and subsequent cup final. That game was, in my opinion, the game that has shaped the past twelve months at Manchester City.

Far too often since that quarter final I have had to write about players failing to turn up, of them going hiding on the pitch and of general poor performance. My hope for this game is that it can define the next twelve months just as the West Ham tie defined the twelve months just past.

Make no mistakes however; this will be a tough tie. Expectation is low and City go into the tie as clear underdogs. Rovers have already doubled us this season with the last visit to Ewood resulting in a 4-2 reverse.

I do believe that the last week will have shaped a few of the players up though. Criticism has been strong, but thoroughly deserved, and they must now realise they are going to have to roll their sleeves up and earn their inflated salaries. Stuart Pearce has acknowledged that he is in a precarious position with many giving him just this tie and the midweek Chelsea fixture to save his job.

My hope is that the pressure will make the manager and players react positively. Many put us in a similar predicament over Christmas and they pulled through with a string of battling wins, that attitude is needed once more.

Regardless of what is happening at the club one thing is for certain; that the supporters will respond positively. If the players cannot respond to the support they will receive today they do not deserve to play for the Club. I expect them to respond. Come on you blues; Wembley is just two games away.

Pearce Speaks:

Stuart Pearce speaks of the need to improve on last week's abject showing.

'That`s the nature of football. I think every weekend you owe yourself, the football club and the people you work for, a performance. We were disappointed with the first 20 minutes last weekend and certainly the result. The only way to do something about it is to win the next game and that what football`s all about - winning the next game - it`s the only thing that counts.'

Blackburn Rovers Team News:

Rovers are still missing Todd, Savage and Ooijer with long term injuries. Dunn is suspended.

Player to watch: McCarthy

The South African is a class act as his goal against Arsenal in the last round showed.

Manchester City Team News:

Mpenza may get his first start as Samaras and Corradi feel the heat their ineffective forward play has generated. Vassell and Dickov are both fit again and may feature at some stage for the blues.

Player to watch: Barton

A big game for Joey. Needs to dominate the midfield and show that he is the player he thinks he is.

Match Facts & Stats

Rovers have already doubled City twice this season. The previous Ewood Park encounter saw Rovers win 4-2 in a game that was a lot closer than their recent 3-0 victory at Eastlands.

City have fond memories of big games at Ewood Park, their most memorable game of recent years ending in a 4-1 win in the Joe Royle promotion season.

Another crumb of comfort comes from happier times still. When the blues last won the FA Cup in 69 their opponents in the quarter final were Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.

Ref Watch:

Mike Dean .... Not Riley or Poll so we can't complain too much. Well not until after the game anyway.

Match Prediction:

My head says a nailed on Blackburn win given City's recent form. Thankfully I rarely go with what my head says where City are concerned. I'll take a score draw with a nice replay set up for Eastlands.

Replay Details:

If the tie is drawn the replay is penciled in for Monday 19th March at 1945. However the rags drew last night so one game will have to be moved if City do need the replay, expect it to be ours.




Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!

The journalist

Writer: Andy Leggott Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday March 11 2007

Time: 11:26AM

 

Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Manchester City Articles

Kolarov Keen On Serie A Return (Monday March 30 2015)

Yaya To End International Career? (Monday March 30 2015)

Flashing The Cash! (Monday March 30 2015)

Milner Quitting For Liverpool? (Monday March 30 2015)

Hart Set For England Milestone (Wednesday March 25 2015)

Shortlist Drawn Up! (Wednesday March 25 2015)

City Stars On International Duty (Tuesday March 24 2015)

Pellegrini Gets Lampard Backing (Tuesday March 24 2015)

Archived Manchester City Articles

List All VMC Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

1. Buzz Lightyear 517
2. Skoorb 447
3. Johnny Baguette 407
4. Bluedub 241
5. kennyclementstache 217
6. BamaEngineer 183
7. CITYBOY1000 131
8. citizhun 130
9. fifthcolumnblue 105
10. johnkelv 93

League Results (view all)

Latest Results
Man City 3 - 0 WBA
Burnley 1 - 0 Man City
Man City 2 - 0 Leicester City
Liverpool 2 - 1 Man City
Man City 5 - 0 Newcastle
Stoke 1 - 4 Man City

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
1. Chelsea 29 20 7 2 +36 67
2. Man City 30 18 7 5 +34 61
3. Arsenal 30 18 6 6 +27 60
4. Man Utd 30 17 8 5 +25 59
5. Liverpool 30 16 6 8 +12 54
6. Southampton 30 16 5 9 +21 53
7. Spurs 30 16 5 9 +5 53

Breaking League News

Trial By TV
Newcastle : 30/03/2015 22:04:01
Mind The Gap
Newcastle : 30/03/2015 21:24:00
Hasselbaink: 'Swansea City Have The Perfect Model'
Swansea : 30/03/2015 20:45:01
Wanyama - Don't Come Unstuck Against The Toffees
Southampton : 30/03/2015 19:57:01
Leicester Returning To Hong Kong
Leicester City : 30/03/2015 19:35:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

WBA MotM
Suggested By:  Site Staff
Hart 2%
Zabaleta 0%
Kompany 0%
Mangala 5%
Clichy 0%
Jesus Navas 5%
Fernando 5%
Lampard 0%
Silva 52%
Bony 5%
Aguero 21%
Sub - Jovetic 0%
Sub - Dzeko 0%
Sub - Milner 5%