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Ewood Park (ATT 26,881) 2nd September 2007 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: M Dean

Blackburn Blackburn Rovers vs Manchester City Man City

Blackburn v Man City preview

Rivals look to continue impressive starts

By Peter Fraser.   Last Updated: 31/08/07 3:20pm

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Hughes: Unbeaten start

Hughes: Unbeaten start

Manchester City will be looking to get back to winning ways, but Blackburn will be hoping to continue their quietly effective start to the season.

PREDICTIONS: Skysports.com prediction: 1-1 SKY BET ODDS: Blackburn 6/5, Draw 11/5, Man City 15/8 Bet on Sunday's match

Rovers are unbeaten in their opening six competitive fixtures of the season and have only conceded two goals against City since November 2004.

Blackburn manager Mark Hughes rested Roque Santa Cruz for Rovers' mid-week Uefa Cup win against MyPa, but the Paraguayan forward is expected to return against City.

Star striker Benni McCarthy should also return after not featuring among the substitutes against the Finnish outfit.

David Bentley will be hoping he can continue an impressive start to the season after being called up to Steve McClaren's England squad ahead of the forthcoming European Championship qualifiers against Israel and Russia.

Small blip

Meanwhile, City boss Sven Goran Eriksson will hope last weekend's defeat to Arsenal was only a small blip in their impressive start to the campaign.

City boasted a 100 per cent start to the season prior to their 1-0 defeat at Emirates Stadium, but they face another tough test against a Rovers side that they could be battling against for Uefa Cup qualification in May.

Defender Danny Mills has left the club on a loan move to Charlton, but this is unlikely to affect City's starting XI.

Second guessing an Eriksson line-up is a difficult task but, after the Swedish tactician shuffled his pack for Wednesday's Carling Cup win over Bristol City, he is expected to return to his strongest Premier League side.

Micah Richards, Dietmar Hamann and Richard Dunne should all return to action after being rested in mid-week, while Elano is also likely to be back.

However, Sven will still be without summer signing Valeri Bojinov who is sidelined until 2008 with damaged lateral and anterior ligaments in his knee.

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Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 33 77
2 Manchester City 34 67
3 Arsenal 33 67
4 Manchester United 34 65
5 Liverpool 33 58
6 Tottenham Hotspur 34 58
7 Southampton 34 57
8 Swansea City 34 50
9 Stoke City 34 47
10 Everton 34 44
11 West Ham United 34 44
12 Crystal Palace 34 42
13 West Bromwich Albion 34 37
14 Newcastle United 34 35
15 Aston Villa 34 32
16 Hull City 33 31
17 Leicester City 33 31
18 Sunderland 33 30
19 Queens Park Rangers 34 27
20 Burnley 34 26

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