Manchester City face a potentially difficult encounter at Championship side Blackburn Rovers on Saturday in the third round of the FA Cup.
Blackburn have an encouraging home record this season under boss Gary Bowyer, who has succeeded in turning the attention towards matters on the pitch at Ewood Park after the frenzied events of last season, where Bowyer was one of four permanent managers.
They do rely heavily on Jordan Rhodes in attack – the striker has scored over half of their league goals in 2013-14 – and he has the ability to punish Man City if provided with the opportunities. He was on target again in Rovers’ last game, helping them move just two points off the play-offs with victory at Leeds United.
The visitors come into this game in relentless form, having won 11 of the last 12 games in all competitions, with one of those being against another Championship club in leaders Leicester City. On New Year’s Day, they came through a stern test in South Wales as Swansea City fought hard from start to finish, showing why they are many people’s favourites to win the Premier League title in May.
Last season’s FA Cup finalists will be hoping to go all the way in this competition after their shock loss to Wigan Athletic last season, and with a Capital One Cup semi-final first leg coming up on Wednesday, this looks set to be a defining week for Man City.
Midfielder Jason Lowe returns from suspension for Blackburn, and Bowyer could hand recalls to Ruben Rochina and Alan Judge. Hull City loanee Tom Cairney is cup-tied.
Man City are still without injured trio Sergio Aguero, Stevan Jovetic and Micah Richards, but are hopeful that Martin Demichelis can play a part.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Blackburn