Aris Thessloniki v MAN CITY – THE PREVIEW: Teamnews and Prediction

15 Feb

Just two days after the Manchester derby, Man City are handed the perfect opportunity to banish any lingering negativity as they return to Europa League action with a trip to Greece to face a capable Aris Thessaloniki side. After progressing from the group stage, this is the first knockout round, and with the faint possibility of the Premier League title now having vanished, this competition is a good a chance as any to mark our first silverware in years.

But any thoughts that this tie should be a relatively easy affair ought to be back on the back-burner, as despite a lowly profile, Aris are a side to beware of. They advanced comfortably from their group, finishing ahead of former Europa League winners Atlético Madrid and Norwegian outfit Rosenborg. In addition, they have the remarkable fact of having never lost a European home tie in over 40 years, so it is with a sense of respect that we travel to the Kleanthis Vikelidis Stadium.

With regards to City, it will be fascinating to see the side that Roberto Mancini selects, bearing in mind the derby would have taken a great deal out of the players and our next game is on Sunday in the FA Cup. Positively, Mario Balotelli and Michael Johnson have travelled, although both are highly unlikely to play. It will be great to see Johnson return eventually, as I still believe (possibly foolishly) that he could be the missing link for our team. Edin Džeko will start, whilst there could be appearances for the likes of Jo and Patrick Vieira.

Here is the side Mancini could select:

                                                    Hart

Richards             K. Touré              Lescott              Boateng

SWP                        Vieira                   Barry                Kolarov

                                 Džeko                     Jo

Subs: Given, Zabaleta, Kompany, Y. Touré, Silva, Balotelli, Tévez

The home side finished fourth in the Greek League last season, but have impressed in the European competition, and my research on YouTube has revealed that the atmosphere in the ground come kick-off should be electric. If Man United fans think they’re making a show with two flares at Eastlands, then I urge you to watch out for the whole of the stadium englufed in flares! http://youtu.be/FEUFZVAFsmY and http://youtu.be/cRAHgHxKIbk 

Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco – The 37 year old Spaniard is a sociologist by day and was an official in the most recent World Cup, where he booked Aleks Kolarov during a match between Serbia and Germany.

Prediction: Aris 1 – 1 MAN CITY We should have the quality to win, but I feel spirits may still be down after the derby loss, and combined with Aris’s remarkable home form, I’d settle for a draw. Goals to be scored by Edin Džeko and Sergio Contreras Pardo, aka Koke. The key is to score an away goal.

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5 Responses to “Aris Thessloniki v MAN CITY – THE PREVIEW: Teamnews and Prediction”

  1. JOHN GUIDETTI IS MY HERO!!! 15/02/2011 at 11:31 am #

    Very nice summary here Steven, but not of any considerable lenght, but thats fine, it does a very good job at setting up what promises to be a good game. The atmosphere judging by those clips will be incredible, and that will serve to be an inspiration for only one team – Aris. Having said that, I really think City will come out fighting and snatch a 1-0 or 2-0 victory as I feel he’ll play a very strong side, stronger than people envisage

  2. Siamack 15/02/2011 at 2:29 pm #

    I do not understand why a player like Micheal Johnson can not get a chance to play while a total waste like Jo has managed to get some. Much like you I have had this feeling that there is a very good chance that he can be the missing link for out team. At least let him play a half instead of Vieira. What is the worst that he can possibly do: be slow, give up a penalty, bad performance, … . Well I bet everyone agrees with me that Vieira is not better than Micheal in this regard. Just give him a chance!

    • View From A Blue 15/02/2011 at 3:17 pm #

      He’s been injured! He’s nowhere near match fit and is travelling to make up the numbers. He may get 5 mins towards the end of a game, but to play him for half a game would be damaging for Johnson.

      • Siamack 15/02/2011 at 5:05 pm #

        I thought he has recovered and played in reserves game. Is this a new injury or the old one that has been lingering on.

        • View From A Blue 15/02/2011 at 6:56 pm #

          It’s the old one, from which he is just returning. The most he’s played for the reseve team is 70mins.

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