Blackburn vs Man City: Onus on Balotelli to secure victory

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Blackburn have been among the more favourite opposition of Manchester City this season and this should help Roberto Mancini’s team keep their Premier League challenge ticking along nicely after their midweek European nightmare.

Manchester City have taken 16 points out of a possible 18 in an almost perfect start to the season and have won four of their last five meetings with Blackburn, while having remained unbeaten in the last seven showdowns.

Blackburn’s chances will also not be helped by the potential defensive absences of Scott Dann, Gael Givet and Ryan Nelsen, while Martin Olsson is suspended.

It is 8/15 in the Premier League odds that Manchester City triumph again, but Blackburn may feel that this is the optimum time to face the title contenders.

The furore surrounding Carlos Tevez will not have done any good for morale in the squad and Tottenham have proved in the past that it can be a struggle getting a Premier League result just a few days after a Champions League fixture.

Blackburn have also showed some signs of improvement of late after a tough start and they are 11/2 to beat Manchester City, with the draw priced at 3/1.

One thing that is weird at Manchester City is that for the time being at least, Mario Balotelli is the best behaved of their strikers.

Tevez has been suspended for two weeks, while Edin Dzeko may be left out after his bad reaction to being substituted in the defeat to Bayern Munich.

And with Sergio Aguero arguably in need of a rest, it may be left to Balotelli to fire Manchester City to victory.

The Italian is 5/1 to be the first goalscorer and 5/4 to score at any time in the 90 minutes.

Blackburn will be relying upon Yakubu to get the goals to secure a victory and he looks decent value at 3/1 to score at some point at Ewood Park against Manchester City.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.