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Blackburn vs. Manchester City Betting Lines: EPL Free Picks

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Matchup: Blackburn v Manchester City
Date/Time: Monday, April 25, 2010 3:00 PM ET
Venue: Ewood Park, England
Broadcast: ESPN2
Spread: Pick Blackburn +175, Pick Man City Pick -250
Money Line: Blackburn +300, Manchester City -110, Draw +235
Over/Under: 2 ½, -130u

BET ON Blackburn vs. Manchester City HERE

Both sides come into Monday’s Premier League match with a great deal on the line as the Blackburn Rovers look for a win to ensure top-flight survival while visitors Manchester City, need a victory in order to hold on to the final Champions League spot.

The Rovers, whose poor run of form has seen them fall from seventh to 16th, find themselves smack in the midst of the relegation battle, and have found very little consolation in their new direct approach since Sam Allardyce was sacked and replaced by current manager Steve Kean.

Kean too has not found any solace, as the Rovers woes continue with the side winless in its last nine league matches, while taking points in only three in 16 since taking over the helm. The Rovers are winless in four, including a 2-0 loss against Everton at Goodison Park in their last league outing. The side’s last victory was in late January when they beat West Brom at Ewood Park.

Blackburn is also one of two Premier League clubs yet to come from behind to win this season, picking up just two points from the 15 matches in which they conceded the opening goal.

The Rovers also have the worst second-half record in the division – only outscoring their opponents in six of their 33 matches and conceding 38 goals.

As for Manchester City, expectant owners, poor league form, and a manager under intense scrutiny is something they currently have in common with their upcoming foe.

Manager Roberto Mancini bought himself some recent goodwill by beating rival Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final, but he remains under pressure to grab City’s first trophy since 1976 and a top-four league position to earn Champions League qualification.
However, the Blues are making his task more arduous by barely averaging more than a point a game since January, and are yet to win a league match away from home in 2011 while losing three of their last six league matches, accumulating a mere seven points.

To compound the job on Monday, the side must again make do without leading goal scorer Carlos Tevez (22) and Micah Richards, who are both sidelined with hamstring injuries.

That will put added pressure on a defense that have played up to the task for most of the season and are the main reason City has not slid out of the Top 4. They have conceded just 30 goals all year—second to Chelsea who lead the league at 27. The Blues are on course for their best defensive record in a Premier League season, eclipsing the 39 goals they conceded in 2004-05.

Despite their poor recent run, Blackburn’s home record is actually not that bad; they have only lost one of the last five games and have only lost four games at home all season, drawing their last three home matches. Not all that good for a City side that has walked away with just 14 victories out of 57 visits to Ewood Park.

When these two sides met earlier in the season, the Rovers scored first, but surrendered the equalizer in the 56th minute earning themselves their first point on the road while ending City’s undefeated home streak in a 1-1 draw.

While the Blues may not have the best record at Ewood, their momentum after their recent victory over United, combined with Blackburn’s current form and fading confidence, should be enough to give them the victory whilst keeping them in the hunt for a Champions League place next season.

Matt’s Free Prediction: Manchester City 2, Blackburn 1

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Matt Martz is a sportswriter for the Bakersfield Californian located in Central California. “Football (soccer) is a game in which a handful of fit men run around for one and a half hours watched by millions of people who could really use the exercise.”

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