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Etihad Stadium (ATT 43,967) 2nd May 2009 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: M Dean

Man City Manchester City vs Blackburn Rovers Blackburn

Man City v Blackburn preview

City aim to maintain Euro push while Rovers edge towards safety

By Ben Collins.   Last Updated: 01/05/09 12:08pm

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Robinho: Back in the goals

Robinho: Back in the goals

Manchester City will aim to boost their European push by claiming a third straight win at home to lowly Blackburn on Saturday.

Skysports.com prediction: Man City 3 Blackburn 1 Sky Bet odds: Man City 10/11 Draw 9/4 Blackburn 10/3 One to Watch: Robinho Bet on Saturday's match

After getting knocked out of the Uefa Cup quarter-finals two weeks ago, the Blues knew only a strong Premier League finish would see them remain in Europe next season.

And the Blues have made the perfect response to that heart-breaking exit against Hamburg, winning 4-2 at home to West Brom before clinching a 2-1 win at Everton last week.

That was only City's second away win in the league this season - and their first in eight months - and they are now just three points off seventh-placed Fulham with four games remaining.

High spirits

However, City have failed to win in their last 11 meetings with Blackburn and Rovers make the short trip across Lancashire in high spirits having claimed a crucial 2-0 win at home to Wigan last week.

That moved Sam Allardyce's men a step closer to Premier League survival as it opened up a six-point gap between themselves and the bottom three.

Middlesbrough and Newcastle are unlikely to cut the deficit this weekend as they face title rivals Manchester United and Liverpool, respectively, which is sure to provide some relief to Blackburn given City's superb home record.

The Blues have turned Eastlands into a fortress this season, with only United having won more home games in the Premier League, and they will have a rejuvenated Robinho on the prowl.

The Brazilian star is back on the goal trail after scoring in the last two games to halt a 17-match drought, while international team-mate Elano has also returned to form in the absence of winger Shaun Wright-Phillips through injury.

Team news

Wright-Phillips (ankle) is set to remain out while Daniel Sturridge (hip) and Pablo Zabaleta (hamstring) are also sidelined.

Former Blackburn boss Mark Hughes is expected to name an unchanged line-up if defender Micah Richards can recover from the knee injury that forced him off against Everton.

Blackburn will be without midfielder David Dunn for the rest of the season after Allardyce confirmed he has had surgery on an Achilles problem.

Long-term City target Roque Santa Cruz (knee) and fellow frontman Jason Roberts (fractured metatarsal) remain out so Christopher Samba could continue as a make-shift striker.

Possible starting XIs

Man City: Given, Richards, Onuoha, Dunne, Bridge, De Jong, Kompany, Elano, Ireland, Robinho, Caicedo.

Blackburn: Robinson, Ooijer, Nelsen, Givet, Warnock, Diouf, Grella, Tugay, Pedersen, Samba, McCarthy.

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Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 16 39
2 Manchester City 16 36
3 Manchester United 16 31
4 West Ham United 16 28
5 Southampton 16 26
6 Arsenal 16 26
7 Tottenham Hotspur 16 24
8 Newcastle United 16 23
9 Swansea City 16 22
10 Everton 16 21
11 Liverpool 16 21
12 Stoke City 16 19
13 Aston Villa 16 19
14 West Bromwich Albion 16 17
15 Sunderland 16 16
16 Crystal Palace 16 15
17 Burnley 16 15
18 Queens Park Rangers 16 14
19 Hull City 16 13
20 Leicester City 16 10

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