City’s relief over key defender

Manchester City

Micah Richards is ready to face Blackburn, despite picking up a midweek knock, but Man City striker Carlos Tevez is not yet match-fit.

Richards appeared to be in pain when he slipped while making a clearance during the midweek Europa League win over Porto, requiring lengthy treatment.

But the England full-back completed the game while midfielder Gareth Barry, who was withdrawn to protect a muscle twinge, does not have a serious problem.

Defender Kolo Toure, midfielder Yaya Toure (both international duty) and striker Mario Balotelli (suspension) return to domestic action after lengthy absences.

Although Tevez is now back in training, the Argentina forward is not yet match-fit, according to boss Roberto Mancini.

Mancini’s side have earned 64 points from the last 66 available on home soil and won the last 17 in a row at the Etihad Stadium while Joe Hart has kept seven clean sheets in City’s last 10 Premier League matches.