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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Sky Blues Travel to Ewood Park This Weekend

City are making their first visit to the ground in over a decade...

26 February 2021

Match Previews

PREVIEW: Sky Blues Travel to Ewood Park This Weekend

City are making their first visit to the ground in over a decade...

26 February 2021

The Sky Blues travel to Ewood Park on Saturday afternoon to play Blackburn Rovers. Here’s everything you need to know about our opponents.

Fact File

Name: Blackburn Rovers

Founded: 1875

Stadium: Ewood Park (first opened 1882)

Capacity: 31,367

Nickname: Rovers

Address: Ewood Park, Blackburn, Lancashire, BB2 4JF

Pitch Size: 115 x 76 yards

Ewood Park.jpg

The Opposition

Blackburn are currently 15th in the Championship table and are managed by former Sky Blues boss Tony Mowbray.

Rovers top scorer is Adam Armstrong who has found the net on 20 occasions this season whilst on loan Liverpool winger Harvey Elliott has provided nine assists.

The Lancashire club have lost their last five league matches and are five points ahead of the Sky Blues in the table.

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Tony Mowbray was appointed as Blackburn head coach in February 2017, having previously been employed at the Sky Blues.

Mowbray had a brief caretaker spell in charge of Ipswich Town before taking up his first role in management with Hibernian in May 2004.

He achieved back-to-back top four finishes with Hibs, helping them into Europe in the process, and won the Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football Writers’ Manager of the Year award at the end of his first season in charge at Easter Road.

His success in Scotland saw him appointed as West Bromwich Albion manager in October 2006 and he took the Baggies all the way to the Championship play-off final, beating rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers in the semi-finals before losing 1-0 to Derby in the final at Wembley.

The following season he guided West Brom to the Championship title and reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup where they were beaten by eventual winners Portsmouth, winning the LMA Manager of the Year award in the process.

However, Mowbray was unable to keep the Baggies in the top flight, dropping straight back down to the second tier before leaving for Celtic in June 2009.

Mowbray would spend just nine months at Celtic Park before being sacked after enduring a difficult campaign back in Scotland and returned to management with Middlesbrough in October 2010.

He spent three seasons with the Riverside club, finishing as high as seventh in 2011/12, missing out on the play-offs by five points, before leaving his role as manager in October 2013.

The 56-year-old returned to the dugout with the Sky Blues in March 2015 and helped keep City in League One with a final day win away at Crawley Town before then helping City climb to an eighth place finish the following season.

However, after making a poor start to the 2016/17 campaign, Mowbray resigned as manager.

He returned to management with Blackburn but wasn’t able to keep the club in the Championship, suffering relegation to League One on goal difference despite winning at Brentford on the final day of the season.

Rovers would send just a single season in the third tier with Mowbray guiding the club to a second-place finish and an immediate return to the Championship before then keeping them in the division for the past two seasons.

With Blackburn, Mowbray has managed 204 matches recording 85 wins, 52 draws and 67 defeats.

Blackburn Rovers Fans.jpg

Last Six Games

Lost – Blackburn 2-3 Watford (Sky Bet Championship)

Lost – Nottingham Forest 1-0 Blackburn (Sky Bet Championship)

Lost – Barnsley 2-1 Blackburn (Sky Bet Championship)

Lost – Blackburn 1-2 Preston (Sky Bet Championship)

Lost – QPR 1-0 Blackburn (Sky Bet Championship)

Won – Blackburn 1-0 Luton (Sky Bet Championship)

Last Meeting vs Blackburn Rovers.jpg

Last Time We Met

The two sides met in the Sky Bet Championship earlier this season when the Sky Blues suffered a heavy defeat at St Andrew’s after being reduced to 10-men early in the first half.

City hit the post in the opening exchanges when Ryan Giles broke away down the left-hand side before finding Matty Godden in the penalty area who smashed an effort against the woodwork.

The Sky Blues had Michael Rose sent off on 14 minutes when he pushed Ben Brereton over inside the penalty area with Adam Armstrong dispatching the resulting penalty to put the visitors ahead.

City held firm until the interval with Marko Marosi making a string of fine saves before Armstrong doubled Blackburn’s lead when he rifled an effort in off the crossbar.

Rovers scored a third goal when Harvey Elliott finished coolly from close range before Sam Gallagher added a late fourth goal finding the bottom corner from 12-yards out on a difficult afternoon for the Sky Blues.

Head-to-Head Record

Sky Blues Wins – 17

Draws – 6

Blackburn Wins – 15

Club Connections

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Kevin Gallacher

Former Scotland international Kevin Gallacher made over 100 appearances for both clubs during the peak of his career.

Gallacher began his career in his native Scotland with Dundee United and helped the Terrors reach the 1987 UEFA Cup final, memorably scoring against Barcelona in the quarter-finals, eventually losing to Swedish side IFK Goteborg on aggregate.

He also scored his side’s goal in the 1988 Scottish Cup final defeat against Celtic, going on to make over 150 appearances for the club over the course of five seasons.

The forward joined City in January 1990 and proved a popular signing with the Sky Blues faithful making 117 appearances and scoring 35 goals during his three seasons at Highfield Road.

He moved to Blackburn in March 1993 and suffered two broken leg injuries which restricted him to just a single appearance during Rovers Premier League title winning season.

Upon returning to full fitness he became a key player at Ewood Park and made over 150 appearances for the club scoring more than half a century of goals before joining Newcastle United.

He spent two seasons with the Magpies before finishing his career with short spells at Preston North End, Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield Town respectively, whilst also earning 53 caps for Scotland and playing at the 1998 FIFA World Cup.

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Colin Hendry

Blackburn legend Colin Hendry won the Premier League with Rovers before playing for the Sky Blues later in his career.

Hendry started his professional career with Dundee playing as a striker before being converted into a defender following his move to Blackburn in 1987.

He scored the winning goal for Rovers in the 1987 Full Members Cup final, defeating Charlton Athletic at Wembley, and made over 100 appearances for the club during his first spell at Ewood Park.

The defender joined Manchester City in 1989 winning the club’s Player of the Year award before re-signing for Blackburn in November 1991.

Hendry helped Blackburn win promotion from the Second Division under the management of Kenny Dalglish before winning the Premier League title in 1994/95 and was named in the PFA Team of the Year for his efforts that season.

He amassed over 250 appearances for the Lancashire club during his second spell at Ewood Park which lasted seven seasons before returning to Scotland with Rangers in 1998.

The centre-back won the domestic treble with the Gers in his first season at Ibrox before moving to the Sky Blues in February 2000.

He made just 11 appearances for City over the next two seasons and was loaned to Bolton Wanderers before making the move permanent in 2001.

Loan spells with Preston North End and Blackpool would follow for the 51-cap Scotland international who also captained his country at the 1998 FIFA World Cup.

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Match Officials

Darren Bond will be the man in the middle on Saturday afternoon, taking charge of his 23rd game of the 2020/21 season.

He last refereed the Sky Blues back in February 2020 when City played out a 2-2 draw with Birmingham City at St Andrew’s, eventually bowing out on penalties, in an Emirates FA Cup fourth round replay.

This will be Bond’s ninth season as a Football League referee and he has officiated the Sky Blues on four previous occasions, with City winning one and losing three of those matches.

So far, Bond has awarded 75 yellow cards and two red cards across 22 matches in the Championship, League One, Emirates FA Cup and Carabao Cup.

He will be assisted by Paul Hodskinson and George Byrne with Jeremy Simpson acting as fourth official.

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