Wednesday, 18 March 2009

First two names in the hat

Don't tempt fate, blah blah blah.

For some reason, two of the UEFA Cup last sixteen second legs were played today, and, unfortunately for City, in both cases the stronger team progressed. 2-2 draws in both games sent both away teams through, first Werder Bremen knocking out AS Saint-Étienne, and then Marseille needing extra time to knock out Ajax. (Marseille's winning goal was scored by former City star Tyrone Mears.)

Marseille are probably the best team left in the tournament - they're one point off the top in Ligue 1 and were squeezed out of a very strong Champions League group containing Liverpool and Atlético Madrid. Ajax, despite their prestige, aren't that good: they're in third place in the Eredivisie, fourteen points behind AZ Alkmaar and three points behind Steve McClaren's FC Twente. They do have Luis Suarez, though, who is quality.

Werder Bremen may be tenth in the Bundesliga, but AS Saint-Étienne are currently in their relegation zone. I wouldn't have minded playing either of those teams, relative to Marseille, but would certainly have preferred ASSE. The only other teams I fear more are CSKA Moscow and Udinese.

But this could all be rendered meaningless if we crash out tomorrow. I'm hoping that we don't.

1 comment:

tommytheblue said...

bremen hve some very good player. mertesacker, naldo, diego, frings..

prob offer a more difficult games than the out of form schalke. marseille are strong too.

We can challenge only if we can maintain a fit squad!