Thursday, 2 October 2008

Omonia preview

I feel like I haven't fully engaged with our UEFA Cup campaign thus far. I was out of the country for EB/Streymur away and FC Midtjylland at home, at a long standing social engagement for AC Omonia away, and called away for most of the second half of Streymur at home. The only game I've seen in full was the penalty triumph in Denmark.

But we are now 90 minutes away from the group stage. Things would need to go very badly this evening for us to fail. I know that cup upsets are part of our DNA, but for tonight I'm pretty confident. A win, a draw, or a 1-0 loss puts us through. Surely we can manage that?

Rather than risk a repeat of the Withdean disaster, it sounds as if Hughes will stick with the current first team tonight. Any potential changes (Johnson and Petrov in) are rendered impossible by their injuries. So Elano keeps his place. I think that he's a luxury in a 4-3-3, but tonight could just be his game. At home, with the protection of a UEFA referee, against a side that needs to come out and attack: we may see the best of him this evening.

I'd like to predict that the Wright-Phillips, Robinho and Jô front line will do some damage tonight, but I thought they were going to at the JJB last Sunday. The difference, though, is that Wigan are more used to having to deal with top quality forwards than Omonia will be. In the first leg we ought to have scored five or six. But I'd take 1-0 tonight.

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