Omonia v Manchester City
Neo GSP Stadium(Pancypria Stadium)
18th September 2008
City face the Cypriot side in their third UEFA cup tie; the same number where they went out to Groclin Dyskobolia Grodzisk; lets hope a repeat is not on the cards.
Mark Hughes talks about the up and coming game: "It's not a game that we're going to take lightly in any way, shape or form. They're a very good side and we won't underestimate them. We won't make assumptions that this game is going to be an easy game for us, we know it's far from that, it's a difficult tie for us. We had a similar situation in the last round as well, so we're primed to understand that there's no easy games.
"There'll be a really vociferous crowd as well that we'll have to deal with. They've had a great start to the season and got a great result in the last round. They have good, talented individuals and they work extremely hard as a team. It's a challenge to us and we have everything to lose while Omonia have everything to gain.
"Omonia are top of their league in the early stages and will be no pushover that`s for sure. They had a great result in the last round against a fancied team in AEK Athens so we know we are in for a real contest. The stadium is compact and irrespective of how many they get in there it is always incredibly noisy. They are passionate fans over here, they love their football and I am sure the stadium will be packed with 20,000."
Hughes then goes on to talk about the squad and how he intends to use it: "It is a challenge for everyone at the Club at the moment and those out of the side have to show the right reaction, knuckle down and give me food for thought," he continues.
From my point of view I have a lot of quality players from whom I can choose which is great, though it can cause problems because quality players are never happy when they don`t play. That has always been the case but it doesn`t particularly worry me.
My job is to select the correct combination of players. The best 11 may not always be the best team.
The most technically gifted players are not necessarily the ones that will play week in and week out. It is always about getting the balance in the side and making sure we are strong in the areas we need to be when it comes to any given opposition that we are up against."
AC Omonia Nicosia Team News:
As I cannot read cyrillic writing - especially in greek and the official omonia website is not up and running - there is little team information out there on the wibbly wobbly web.
This however was taken from the Cyprus mail: WHAT A rip-off is all you can say about the ticket prices our clubs would be charging for their European football fixtures. You can understand Apoel and Omonia fleecing their fans for the home leg of their respective UEFA Cup ties, with ticket prices of €40 and €50 as they may not play a second tie in the competition.
But what is the excuse of Anorthosis, who have three home ties in the group stages of the Champions` League? Participation in the group stages combined with TV money will earn the club about €6 million, so why are tickets for their home ties priced at €80 and €60? Is this how our champs will be thanking their fans for their loyal support over the years? Or are they imposing a surcharge for the enlightenment campaign that they will be carrying out about the Cyprus problem?
Player to watch: Stathis Aloneftis.
Interesting that non of the top stars played in their defeat over AEK Athens.
Manchester City FC Team News:
City will definitely be without Martin Petrov who has a hamstring problem after recovering from his knee injury.
Michael Johnson is a doubt with a groin problem. City however have the ability to call on the likes of Vincent Kompany, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Robinho and Jo who were either ineligable or not at the club or unavailable in the last round of the UEFA cup against FC Midtylland.
City still have long term term injuries in Bojinov, Vassell and Benjani; but Benjani is due back soon.
Player to watch: Robinho
Should he play I am sure that the Cypriot defence will struggle to cope with his movement and quality balls that he plays.
Match Facts & Stats
Cyprus football is on the up at present; but previous campaigns have seen any side feature very spairingly in the further rounds.
If City progress it will be the first time since the 1978/79 season where they made it past christmas after beating AC Milan but losing in the next round to Borussia Moenchengladbach.
UEFA have yet to publish who the referee will be
It will be a difficult game for City as the heat might effect the British and northern european players. City will have that extra bit of quality but I do not think it will quite enough to get the victory; but I think we will score. AC Omonia 1 - 1 MCFC.
Portsmouth at home on Sunday 21st Sept with a 3pm kick off.