FC Red Bull Salzburg v MAN CITY – SILVA Set For Start, but Salzburg have ALAN…

15 Sep

The group stage of the Europa League. Just another fifteen matches before we lay our hands on the trophy. That’s in an ideal world of course; fifteen comfortable victories with no dramas along the way. But in reality, our journey will not be as smooth as that. With City, it never is. There will be moments of difficulty, times when we will struggle and matches which we may lose. However, if we overcome these challenges, these obstacles put in front of us to test our dedication to the cause, success will be all the more sweeter, certainly more so having defeated FC Tiramisu to reach this stage!

As I mentioned in my feature in the matchday programme against Blackburn, I have a number of European surprises in store, so let’s start with this one. As we play an Austrian side, here is a little treat for my German speaking readers, courtesy of a good friend of mine…

Die Gruppenphase der Europa League. Nur noch fünfzehn Spiele, bevor wir unsere Hände auf die Trophäe legen. Das wäre natürlich der Fall in einer idealen Welt, nach fünfzehn leichten Siegen ohne Drama auf dem Weg. Aber in Wirklichkeit wird unsere Reise nicht so glatt sein. Es wird schwerige Momente geben, es wird Zeiten geben in denen wir kämpfen müssen und Spiele die wir verlieren werden. Aber wenn wir diese Herausforderungen, diese Hindernisse die vor uns gestellt sind um unsere Widmung an unserem Ziel zu testen, überwinden, wird der Erfolg umso süßer sein, sicherlich noch süßer, weil wir FC Tiramisu besiegt haben um dieses Stadium zu erreichen!

Our visitors should not be underestimated, and are arguably more experienced in European competitions than us. They won the Austrian Bundesliga last season, and although they have failed to reproduce that sparkling domestic form this time around, they won all six of their group stage matches in the Europa League last campaign, defeating Lazio and Villarreal to name but two prestigious sides. In this year’s Champions League play-off round, they were narrowly defeated by Israeli team Hapoel Tel Aviv, meaning they were demoted to this competition. And besides, they have a Brazilian called Alan. What could be a more terrifying prospect!

With regards to team news, my good friend Roberto Mancini has already stated that Joe Hart will continue in goal, despite earlier suggesting that the experienced Shay Given would play in the European fixtures. The manager has also declared that Spaniard David Silva will start as he looks to gain match fitness, whilst Nigel de Jong and Wayne Bridge are both expected to return from injuries. Another new signing, Mario ‘The Nutter’ Balotelli is out for eight to ten weeks, whilst Serbian Aleksandar Kolarov is sidelined for another fortnight. Promising German right-back Jerome Boateng should be fit in time for the weekend game against Wigan. Joleon Lescott is out due to injury, whilst the Blues will be relying on Carlos Tévez to fire us to victory, after Emmanuel Adebayor was ruled out with a dead leg.

This is the team I would consider playing, although it is likely to be different from the eleven Mancini will select:

                                                                  Hart

Zabaleta                        K. Touré                      Kompany                        Bridge

A. Johnson                   de Jong                          Barry                             Milner

                                                                  Silva

                                                                 Tévez

Subs: Given, Richards, Boyata, Y. Touré, Vieira, SWP, Jo

Referee: Georgios Daloukas – The experienced Greek has a penchant for yellow cards, having distributed 52 in his past ten matches. Nigel de Jong, beware!

Prediction: FC Red Bull Salzburg 12 MAN CITY. A patchy affair, with neither side demonstrating their true footballing prowess. Goals to be scored by Adam Johnson, Carlos Tévez and Robin Nelisse.

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9 Responses to “FC Red Bull Salzburg v MAN CITY – SILVA Set For Start, but Salzburg have ALAN…”

  1. mord 15/09/2010 at 6:45 pm #

    mate, im pretty sure when i get a dead leg i just hobble about for a bit until i get better then its on with playing or whatever else.
    why is it that a dead leg is enough to rule out a player?

  2. Shlo 15/09/2010 at 6:55 pm #

    I just want to say that this blog is awesome. I have read so many that are just a one sided lump of football chants-turned-blogs… but this… this is something different. Author- whoever you are- your analysis is second to none. You deal with every side of every issue with a clarity and purpose. no vindictive slamming here. just straight up football talk. I pray to the Football Gods that some radio station is wise enough to give you your own show. I know that I, and loads of my friends would crack open a beer and tune in every day… Hell, we’d probably call in too…
    Cheers mate!

    • View From A Blue 15/09/2010 at 7:29 pm #

      Shlo and Mord, thanks for the comments! Mord, typical soft footballers these days. If they break a fingernail, it keeps them out for a week.

      Shlo, seriously that comment means so much to me. I too hope for a radio show one day… 🙂

  3. Ricky 15/09/2010 at 9:46 pm #

    I was told by a reliable source on Monday night that Given would definately play in goal – this is an interesting development.

    On the team, Yaya can go straight back to Barca, Jo can follow him and, while i’m on one, Richards can go as well.

    On the game, I can see it being easy but, City being City, I can see us making a meal of it. However, I can see us being completely overrun but nicking a 1-0 with a 94th minute goal.

    • View From A Blue 15/09/2010 at 9:53 pm #

      For some reason, my gut instinct tells me that Barcelona wouldn’t want Jo. Although on reflection, I’m sure he would give Iniesta, Xavi, Villa and Messi a run for their money!

  4. mord 15/09/2010 at 10:25 pm #

    yeah ive also heard that given is playing this week.

  5. View From A Blue 15/09/2010 at 11:01 pm #

    Mancini said that initially, but now wants Hart to regain his confidence after the Blackburn blunder.

  6. CHED EVANS IS MY HERO!! 16/09/2010 at 12:19 pm #

    Is Ricky high?! YaYa back to Barca?! We want to keep him!

    Anyway Steven, nice preview, although i dont think you intensify the threat of ALAN enough 😉

    Not sure your team is right either, you know Mancini loves Richards so Zaba wont play and also he might play Jo because we all know what a great scoring record he has in the UEFA Cup……..

    We shall see! 🙂 What times kick off UK time?

    • View From A Blue 16/09/2010 at 12:43 pm #

      Kick off is 6:00 on ESPN. Read closely, and you will see that that is the team I would play, but Mancini may view it differently. Of course Micah will play but I think he’s useless! And the less said about Joke the better…

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