Mancini certain Manchester United will draw at Blackburn
Roberto Mancini is certain that Manchester United will draw at Blackburn this evening as the race for the Premier League title looks to go down to the wire.
City dropped points for the first time at home this season when Sunderland claimed a dramatic 3-3 draw on Saturday, but it could’ve been worse for Mancini’s men having trailed 3-1 with five minutes remaining.
The gap remains at two points, although United travel to Ewood Park later today and will be looking to extend their lead to five with a win.
Should the Premier League champions claim a crucial victory today, they will have the opportunity to go eight points clear when they take on Queens Park Rangers on Sunday, three hours before City play Arsenal.
However, United’s record at Blackburn is unimpressive in recent seasons having won just twice in the past 11 visits, and Mancini is convinced they will again drop points.
“If we go eight points behind, then it is finished.” Mancini said. “This is normal. But United will draw at Blackburn. Do you want to bet with me? This is my opinion.
"We have 71 points with seven games left and I think we should believe in ourselves at this moment because we will have time for the other things.”
City appeared to be cruising to their first Premier League title earlier in the season, but a run of just two wins in their past five league fixtures has seen United edge past their rivals.
And the increasingly erratic behavior of Mario Balotelli is threatening to rip apart City’s season with the Italian striker understood to have been involved in a dressing room bust-up with teammate Yaya Toure following the draw with Sunderland.
Mancini revealed prior to Saturday’s game that he does not trust Balotelli, and the City boss was scathing when talking about the 21-year-old in his post-match interview.
“Mario played like I said about him before the game,” Mancini said. “He can do nothing, like he did today for 70 minutes, but then score two goals.
“I don’t like it when he plays like this. Mario has everything to do his job well but he doesn’t understand very well his situation.”
When asked if he thoguth about substituting Balotelli, Mancini replied: “We had only Carlos [Tévez] on the bench. I thought about this after five minutes.”