Writer: Gavin Cooper
Date:Thursday August 14 2008
City of Manchester Stadium
14th August 2008
City face a tricky second qualifying round tie against the highly rated danish team who lead their championship at present.
Mark Hughes talks about the up and coming UEFA game: "It`s going to be a difficult game," Hughes declares, "they are good opposition who are playing well at the moment and it will be a good test for us.
"It will not be the walkover that people might be in danger of thinking it is, they are a big, strong, physical side and we will have to match that."
Hughes continues with saying: "We`ve been training with the game against Midtjylland very much in our thoughts. They are an accomplished team, doing very well in their own league and it`s not a game we can take lightly.
"They are playing with confidence and are top of their league. They beat Odense, who ran Aston Villa very close in the Intertoto, 4-0 at the weekend, so that`s the quality of the opposition we are up against.
"We can`t afford to allow anything to distract from what will be a difficult tie. Out of the teams we could have played, they are probably the most difficult one we could have had. We will make sure we prepare correctly, as we always do, and try to make sure that we get through.
"The days of results of five or six-nil in each leg are gone, even at this stage we are up against accomplished sides and we will have to play to the best of our ability to get through.
"Success in Europe is important for us as a club. We want to progress in this competition because we feel that if we can get into the latter stages of the competition we have the quality of players to go right to the end."
City have a reduced forward line with now Darius Vassell added to the injury list and so this might promote Rolando Bianchi; but should he play it might be more difficult to move him on to a club still in Europe with him being cup-tied for the first rounds.
Martin Petrov and Micah Richards appear to have shrugged of knocks and so should start.
At present Martin is our only real quality creative player with his delivery of crosses from the left being top drawer.
Midtjylland manager Thomas Thomasberg knows his side will have to be at the peak of their game and is expecting a tough night in England.
Striker Kim Christensen netted a second half hat-trick after coming off the bench in the 6-1 second leg victory over Bangor at the Racecourse Ground and could have done enough to earn a starting spot.
The Nigerian forward has proved for Midtjylland that he can be a real goal threat.
As far as I am aware this is the first time that City have faced Danish competition in Europe and so there is little to go off.
Babak Rafati - an Iranian born German referee that has reffed in the Bundesliga for a few years now.
City to show that under Hughes they are moving forward in the right direction and I think our quality will show. City 2 - 0 Midtjylland.
Aston Villa away for the opening premiership fixture this Sunday(17th) with a 3pm kick off.
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Date:Thursday August 14 2008
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