Manchester City are eyeing the Champions League while Blackburn are hoping for survival when the two sides meet at Ewood Park on Monday.
Roberto Mancini’s Manchester City outfit are in fourth place in the English Premier League, eight points behind third-placed Arsenal and two points clear of Spurs in the race for the all-important Champions League qualifying place.
Despite a 3-0 loss to Liverpool at Anfield in their most recent league match, City enjoyed a memorable 1-0 win over bitter rivals Manchester United last Saturday in a spiteful FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.
Steve Kean’s Blackburn, however, are a team on the slide – without a win from their past nine league games – leaving them in 16th position, just two points clear of the relegation zone.
In their most recent game they suffered a 2-0 loss to Everton at Goodison, but on the plus side they are unbeaten at Ewood Park since Boxing Day.
In their only other meeting this season City came from behind at the City of Manchester Stadium to claim a 1-1 draw when Patrick Vieira cancelled out Nikola Kalinic’s opener for the visitors.
Both managers have selection headaches ahead of Monday’s game.
Kean’s on-loan striker Roque Santa Cruz is ineligible to face his parent club while midfielder Steven N’Zonzi is suspended.
Defender Ryan Nelsen (knee), midfielders Vince Grella (Achilles) and Keith Andrews (groin), plus winger David Hoilett (hamstring) are all unavailable for Blackburn.
For City, top scorer Carlos Tevez is still doubtful with a hamstring injury, while Jerome Boateng and goalkeeper Shay Given are also injured.
Micah Richards is still troubled by a hamstring complaint and Kolo Toure is sidelined because of a club-imposed suspension.
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