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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Lech Poznań vs. Manchester City

Stadion Miejski

Thursday, 4th November

19:00 GMT

VMC Preview: Lech v CITY

This really is a massive game for both sides! Lech sacked their boss Jacek Zielinski earlier this week and the 'new gaffer euphoria` will prompt a good performance from the Polish side. Whilst City must get back to winning ways after two successive losses and with West Brom on the horizon who must not be underestimated, oh and there`s just the small matter of the derby on Wednesday night..

Vital Quotes:

Roberto Mancini:

'We will probably change some players for tomorrow because with a game every three days it's impossible to play the same players. So we need to make changes but we have good players and they can put in some good work on Thursday.

'I forgot that game in 1992! I want to say good luck, not for tomorrow night but for the season, but I don't think a manager can change things in just one day! I know their players well, they are a good side. We will have to work well to win this game.

'Tomorrow will be a different game to a few weeks ago, the atmosphere will be different and they will probably attack us from the start so we will have pay attention right from the start.'

James Milner:

'It's frustrating. When you are at a club as big as City that is desperate to win things, you are up on a pedestal to be knocked down, people will have a pop at you no matter what happens.

'It is down to us to stick together and ignore these things, and get on with what we need to do, which is win football matches. These things will only make you stronger as a team and as a club. We will pull together and use that out on the field.'

Lech Poznań Team News:

Lech Poznan returned to winning ways at the weekend with a 4-1 win over mid-table over Krakow. This coupled with the appointment of a new manager in Jos Bakero means Lech are going to be up for this one! They currently sit in second place of Group A, 1 point ahead of Juventus and with a real possibility of progressing into the next round if they can keep picking up the points. And despite being benched last time for Lech`s weekend fixture, Bakero is expected to release Artjoms Rudnevs, his best player who bagged a hat-trick in Turin a few weeks ago.

Possible Lech Poznan Team:


Kikut - Arboleda - Djurdjević - Henriquez
Peszko - Injac - Bandrowski - Krivets

Player to watch: Artjoms Rudnevs

If he starts, Rudnevs is the obvious threat. After lacking a penetrative force last time around, the brilliant Lech fans will be looking to their talisman to pierce holes in City`s defence. He managed to score three times against the 'Old Lady` a few weeks ago which is no mean feat. He is Lech`s posterboy and is Latvia`s best young player.

Manchester City Team News:

Aleksandar Kolarov is pushing for a start which is great news; as we`ve been chopping and changing at left back for far too long now. However, I expect him to take-up a place on the bench with Mr Unreliable Wayne Bridge getting the nod. Patrick Vieira - the Europa League stalwart should start; but he will be looking to impress after the midfield`s recent below average displays. Both Toure brothers stayed in Manchester with niggles meaning that Boyata could partner Joleon Lescott in central defence and James Milner could turn-out in the middle of the park.

Emmanuel Adebayor and Mario Balotelli should both start in attack as both will be looking bag a goal or two ahead of this weekend`s game, for which Carlos Tevez is unlikely to be fit enough for. Adam Johnson should occupy one wing with SWP down the other.

Therefore, here is what I predict the team to be:

Probable City Team:


25) Hart
5) Zabaleta - 38) Boyata - 19) Lescott - 3) Bridge
8) SWP - 24) Vieira - 7) Milner - 11) A. Johnson
9) Adebayor - 45) Balotelli

Player to watch: Patrick Vieira

Patrick Vieira has done a very good job in Europe thus far despite going fairly unnoticed. The slower pace really suits the French veteran who has looked really comfortable in central midfield. But if there has been one aspect of his game that has been so impressive then it is his passing - it has been crisp and pin-point. The amount of chances he has set up with his threaded delivery has been extremely promising. Also noticeable are his much improved levels of fitness; he`s covering much more ground than he was.

Match Facts & Stats

No stats available.

Match Prediction:

As I've already mentioned I think this could be a really tasty tie - both sides are desperate for a win. Mancini is expected to name a pretty strong team that should include the likes of Ade, Balotelli and Johnson. Ahead of a very tough away trip to West Brom the players will be looking to return to winning ways and secure progression through to the next round with a collection of three points. As for Lech Poznan, I expect them to be a lot more gung-ho at home, backed by their sensational support. I'm predicting a close encounter but one that City will edge with a late goal from David Silva. Prediction: Lech 1 - 2 MCFC.

Next Fixtures:

Sunday, 7th November v West Brom @ 15:00 (A)
Wednesday, 10th November v United @ 20:00 (H)

The journalist

Writer: bigal84 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday November 3 2010

Time: 9:43PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Good preview Scragg - think we may just nick this one but would be happy with a draw.
Report Abuse
04/11/2010 02:17:00
Lech? I understand European excitement after quite a while away, but Lech? After Rudnevs and possibly Kravets, I see no threat that 200 million pounds worth of players couldn't dispose of. Sit back, relax, and enjoy your flight with Etihad.;)
Report Abuse
04/11/2010 04:25:00
I'm sensing he'll start with one up front and look to hit them on the counter. It'll be some atmosphere as Scragg says!
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
04/11/2010 06:05:00
Very positive statements from Jimmy Milner.
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
04/11/2010 06:14:00
European away games are never easy, look up Lech Poznan Ultras on YouTube to see what awaits us tonight. I watched Arsenal get comfortably and deservedly beaten by Shakhtar last night a couple of weeks after hammering them at home.
Report Abuse
04/11/2010 09:37:00
Just a tad patronising Dubai, whether intended or not. We were in Uefa Cup a couple seasons back mate, not really quite a while away.
Report Abuse
04/11/2010 14:26:00
Sorry, didn't mean it like that. And who am I to talk anyway, we waited 48 years to get to where we are today.;)
Report Abuse
04/11/2010 21:04:00
funny city like hell...hahaha...lose to this lech...
Report Abuse
04/11/2010 23:22:00

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