Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Monday May 10 2010
The curtain may have come down on the Premier League season only 24 hours ago, but already Planet Blue can start to fill it's calendars up with Europa League dates...
After bowing out of what was the last ever UEFA Cup campaign after that berserker of a Quarter Final clash with Hamburg last year, City fans can look ahead to next season's Europa League adventure with spicy relish and an extra topping of chilli sauce.
Last time around City's then wafer thin, depthless squad battled through 16 gruelling matches, which started in July 2008 in the Faroe Islands for qualifying rounds Roberto Mancini's top five Premier League squad will not have to undergo next season. So severe were Mark Hughes' sides limitations that season that we took only 18 fit players to secure a famous victory at Schalke.
City will be going into next season's play off round (which accounted for Aston Villa last season) with a far stronger squad and unlimited resources making for a mouthwatering prospect. There is no reason whatsoever why City can't make a real go of this competition.
The first all important date for MCFC is that of the UEFA Europa League Play-offs Draw which will take place in Nyon on 06th August 2010 at 13h30 CET.
See you in the emerald isle? Let's face it, a final in Dub will always be a better craic than the one in Laandarn Taarn that Spurs will alledgedly reach!
And in the meantime, all power to Fulham this month!
EUROPA LEAGUE SCHEDULE 2010-2011
Play-off round, 1st leg: 19/08/10
Play-off round, 2nd leg: 26/08/10
Group stage, Matchday 1: 16/09/10
Group stage, Matchday 2: 30/09/10
Group stage, Matchday 3: 21/10/10
Group stage, Matchday 4: 04/11/10
Group stage, Matchday 5: 01-02/12/10
Group stage, Matchday 6: 15-16/12/10
Round of 32, 1st leg: 17/02/11
Round of 32, 2nd leg: 24/02/11
Round of 16, 1st leg: 10/03/11
Round of 16, 2nd leg: 17/03/11
Quarter-finals, 1st leg: 07/04/11
Quarter-finals, 2nd leg: 14/04/11
Semi-finals, 1st leg: 28/04/11
Semi-finals, 2nd leg: 05/05/11
The Final (Lansdowne Road/ Aviva Stadium, Dublin)18/05/11
Date:Monday May 10 2010
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