Thursday, 16 September 2010

Salzburg preview

For the first time in years, and possibly the last time ever, City will be on the side of tradition and romance in club football this evening. We're playing Red Bull Salzburg, a club birthed by the annexation of SV Austria Salzburg by the Red Bull company five years ago. On taking over Austria Salzburg (once managed by a certain Hans Backe), Red Bull re-named, re-badged and re-kitted the club, all in the name of selling caffeine drinks.

If you think that City are pissing on the traditions and dignities of club football, just check these guys out; it's serious MK Dons stuff.

Writing about this allows me to get past the fact that I know less than nothing about them as a football team. I've never seen them play before, nor have I seen any of their players representing other clubs or countries. Wikipedia tells me they've won the Austrian Bundesliga three of the last four years, and that they made the Champions League play-off this summer but lost to Hapoel Tel Aviv. In the Europa League group stage last year, they won all six games in a group containing Lazio and Villareal so they can't be too bad.

So in terms of expectations I can only work from general principles. And they dictate that away draws ought to be the target. Three wins and a draw or two are usually enough to get through to the last 32. I'd take a point tonight, I think. Particularly as Jô might be playing. With Mario Balotelli and Manu Adebayor out injured, we're just left with him and Carlos Tévez up front. David Silva will be playing, and either Wayne Bridge or Pablo Zabaleta will come in at left back. I don't know how we'll line up, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Silva coming inside - maybe playing alongside Tévez just behind Jô in that 4-1-2-2-1 we've seen a few times.

The Europa League is a bit of a schlep; we're still fourteen games from Lansdowne Road. But we've got the squad and the experience to do it. I fancy a controlled draw tonight.


Duane Rollins said...

They are a hack and slash club that will try and frustrate more skilled opponents. That's about the only remarkable thing I can say about them.

With City's struggles to break down weaker opponents so far this year, I have a lot of fear about this one.

As an aside the New York Red Bulls Twitter feed just sent out a message encouraging its fans to get behind its "brother" club as they look for the "City sweep" in 2010.

Glory Glory Energy Drink FC!

jackblue said...


Richards, Toure, Boyata, Bridge.

De Jong, Barry

Johnson, Silva, Milner,