Midtjylland vs. Manchester City
The Anchor Man previews tonight's Uefa Cup second round qualifying clash.
Not a day goes by at the moment without Manchester City hitting the headlines for one reason or another. Whether it’s financial irregularities surrounding or being linked with another global superstar, City’s summer has represented something more like Harchester United than the Premier League.
However, the return leg with FC Midtjylland this afternoon could perhaps be one of the most important moments of their campaign. Qualification for the Uefa Cup and a run in Europe is crucial for their prospects of attracting the big name players, along with helping to pay for Shinawatra’a expensively assembled squad. Defeat and Mark Hughes could be anxiously waiting for a phone call from the Thai businessman who has proven before he is not shy when it comes to wielding the axe.
Midtjylland were full value for their 1-0 victory a fortnight ago. Despite being under the cosh for much of the game their defence stood firm and they caused Hughes’ side all sorts of problems on the counter-attack. While they will surely line up in a similar vein here, they did have the competitive advantage that night with their well drilled unit having already contested the opening month of the Danish Superliga.
Manchester City’s season looked to be going from bad to worse following their defeat against the Danes with an opening day spanking at the hands of Aston Villa but Mark Hughes is slowly moulding his side the way he wants it. A 3-0 victory over West Ham couldn’t have come at a better time and while the Hammers were awful, and played much of the game with ten men, City were by far the better side from the first whistle.
That win would have filled them with plenty of confidence and the possible return of £18million Brazilian forward Jo from the Olympics can only be a further positive. The former CSKA Moscow man looked sharp at in China and will be eager to link up with his new team-mates. Vincent Kompany also looks a fine addition to the squad, and he will add some much needed steel to the midfield, while the return of Richard Dunne will make up for the injury to Micah Richards.
Manchester City could not have started their campaign in a more disastrous fashion but they are only a goal behind going into the return leg and given the quality amongst their squad it will be a surprise if they cannot get the better of their Danish counterparts. At 1.85 I’m willing to side with that quality to shine through, now they’ve got a couple more games under their belt.
Back Manchester City WON @ 1.95
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