David James exclusive: How Blackburn Rovers can stun Manchester City

This Is Lancashire: David James David James

THE unknown factor and strength from set-pieces represent Blackburn Rovers’ best chances of causing an FA Cup upset in tomorrow’s third-round clash with Manchester City.

That is the view of former England goalkeeper David James who will be part of the BT Sport presenting team at Ewood Park.

James admits it would be major surprise if five-time winners City, unbeaten in 12 matches and chasing glory on four fronts, did not win the televised tie.

But the 43-year-old, who won the FA Cup with Portsmouth in 2008, is not ruling out a shock success for six-time winners Rovers.

He believes the fact that Gary Bowyer’s Championship side no longer ply their trade in the Premier League alongside free-scoring City – whose Champions League victory at holders Bayern Munich last month kick-started their current seven-game winning run – may actually help them.

But he has warned they must make the most of any opportunity that comes their way.

“The reality is Manchester City will not have anywhere near as much information on Blackburn as they would do on say a Southampton,” said former City keeper James, who was also a losing FA Cup finalist with Liverpool, Aston Villa and Portsmouth.

“So that gives Blackburn a head start.

“If Manchester City think they’re going to win just because they’re Manchester City – that’s where you get upsets.

“I think this tie is an opportunity for an upset.

“Manchester City will be playing against players who are unfamiliar.

“I’m sure Manchester City will have sent scouts to a couple of Blackburn’s matches since the draw was made but they will not have the regular database to go back to so Manchester City may find it awkward.

“I’m sure their manager Manuel Pellegrini will be saying ‘just get through’ as opposed to winning it by four of five and I’m sure Blackburn will get the opportunity to create chances.

“I’m sure Blackburn will be looking at Manchester City and seeing if they have any weaknesses from corners or free kicks.

“If they score early it will be a long 90 minutes if they want to hold out. But it can be done and that’s the thing, they will get the chance.

“But they will have to be more clinical than Manchester City given they seem to have free rein on scoring and creating opportunities this season.”

James, who was in the Liverpool side the day Rovers were crowned Premier League champions at Anfield in 1995, reckons that chance may just fall to 16-goal top scorer Jordan Rhodes.

And if it does he can see Rovers’ overcoming the odds and knocking out last season’s losing finalists.

“It’s set for a wonderful day of football,” said James, who is looking forward to meeting up with his old England rival and returning Rovers keeper Paul Robinson as well as Rovers goalkeeping coach John Keeley, who he worked with at Portsmouth. 

“Blackburn is a Premier League stadium, they’re a very vocally supported team and there’s the local rivalry aspect as well.

“Everything is set up.”

* BT Sport will be showing up to 25 live games including the final from this season's FA Cup with Budweiser. BT Sport is free with BT broadband, to find out more visit www.btsport.com

Comments (9)

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2:14pm Fri 3 Jan 14

bburnrover says...

Well I cannot see how we are going to get a free kick or even a kick after watching City's passing game I expect they will have 90% possession so its up to Jordan to take any chance he gets.
Well I cannot see how we are going to get a free kick or even a kick after watching City's passing game I expect they will have 90% possession so its up to Jordan to take any chance he gets. bburnrover

3:06pm Fri 3 Jan 14

crankitup says...

i think the rugged way we play verses the world class way city play will be to our advantage...

on paper city will walk the tie but i think on the day we could just sneak it...

as long as we don't fall apart and loose by a silly score this could be a confidence boost for the lads, but if we gift them silly goals that we've been guilty in the past then city will just make us look stupid...

a draw would be a good money earner for us but i'd rather just beat them on the day, after all we can't really afford any injuries.
i think the rugged way we play verses the world class way city play will be to our advantage... on paper city will walk the tie but i think on the day we could just sneak it... as long as we don't fall apart and loose by a silly score this could be a confidence boost for the lads, but if we gift them silly goals that we've been guilty in the past then city will just make us look stupid... a draw would be a good money earner for us but i'd rather just beat them on the day, after all we can't really afford any injuries. crankitup

4:17pm Fri 3 Jan 14

You're not mugging me off that easily says...

“Blackburn is a Premier League stadium, they’re a very vocally supported team and there’s the local rivalry aspect as well.

Are you on crack David? Even with the cheapest tickets in the league they can't get more than 13,000 through the door.
“Blackburn is a Premier League stadium, they’re a very vocally supported team and there’s the local rivalry aspect as well. Are you on crack David? Even with the cheapest tickets in the league they can't get more than 13,000 through the door. You're not mugging me off that easily

4:30pm Fri 3 Jan 14

Thirtyfour Years says...

You're not mugging me off that easily wrote:
“Blackburn is a Premier League stadium, they’re a very vocally supported team and there’s the local rivalry aspect as well.

Are you on crack David? Even with the cheapest tickets in the league they can't get more than 13,000 through the door.
Dingle.
[quote][p][bold]You're not mugging me off that easily[/bold] wrote: “Blackburn is a Premier League stadium, they’re a very vocally supported team and there’s the local rivalry aspect as well. Are you on crack David? Even with the cheapest tickets in the league they can't get more than 13,000 through the door.[/p][/quote]Dingle. Thirtyfour Years

5:26pm Fri 3 Jan 14

earwego says...

You're not mugging me off that easily wrote:
“Blackburn is a Premier League stadium, they’re a very vocally supported team and there’s the local rivalry aspect as well.

Are you on crack David? Even with the cheapest tickets in the league they can't get more than 13,000 through the door.
That's rich coming from the least supported club in the top half of the league.
13000 would be a massive gate for the Dingles. And James is right about the stadium,never here any body say that about the Turd do we.
[quote][p][bold]You're not mugging me off that easily[/bold] wrote: “Blackburn is a Premier League stadium, they’re a very vocally supported team and there’s the local rivalry aspect as well. Are you on crack David? Even with the cheapest tickets in the league they can't get more than 13,000 through the door.[/p][/quote]That's rich coming from the least supported club in the top half of the league. 13000 would be a massive gate for the Dingles. And James is right about the stadium,never here any body say that about the Turd do we. earwego

7:14pm Fri 3 Jan 14

we.love.u.venkys. says...

I predict that Blackburn Rovers will do nothing more than act as the cones in a Manchester City exhibition training session. Enjoy your spanking no-dad's.
I predict that Blackburn Rovers will do nothing more than act as the cones in a Manchester City exhibition training session. Enjoy your spanking no-dad's. we.love.u.venkys.

7:52pm Fri 3 Jan 14

leitchy says...

1-6 city will walk it.....James is talking about the old Rovers with Samba & Nelson going up for free kicks and corners and scoring....we are not the same team as under big Sam!
1-6 city will walk it.....James is talking about the old Rovers with Samba & Nelson going up for free kicks and corners and scoring....we are not the same team as under big Sam! leitchy

8:48pm Fri 3 Jan 14

ghost of sceptic says...

we.love.u.venkys. wrote:
I predict that Blackburn Rovers will do nothing more than act as the cones in a Manchester City exhibition training session. Enjoy your spanking no-dad's.
Funny that logic would tell you Rovers will be beaten but then again you would not understand logic would you. Be far more worried about the 3-0 spanking your lot will suffer.
[quote][p][bold]we.love.u.venkys.[/bold] wrote: I predict that Blackburn Rovers will do nothing more than act as the cones in a Manchester City exhibition training session. Enjoy your spanking no-dad's.[/p][/quote]Funny that logic would tell you Rovers will be beaten but then again you would not understand logic would you. Be far more worried about the 3-0 spanking your lot will suffer. ghost of sceptic

9:47pm Fri 3 Jan 14

BlueSkies says...

We get beat by City?

Big deal? No!

35 years.

Be afraid, scummers.
We get beat by City? Big deal? No! 35 years. Be afraid, scummers. BlueSkies

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