City’s Premiership season is mired in mid table mediocrity. For longtime supporters of the club like myself that is just fine, so long as we are not eventually drawn into a relegation battle. But having been eliminated in the clubs first match of both domestic cup competitions has left a very sour taste in the mouths of many a City backer.
The UEFA Cup may not be glamorous for the top clubs in England, Spain or Italy, but for City it provides an opportunity. Following the January transfers of Craig Bellamy, Wayne Bridge and Shay Given who are not cup tied (Nigel De Jong is cup tied) the Blues can boast as good a squad on paper as just about any side left in this competition.
But City’s troubles away from home continue to manifest themselves in every away fixture leading many to question whether the Blues can in fact keep the European campaign going.
This may sound somewhat jaded and silly, but Thursday’s match against FC Copenhagen could be one of the biggest of Mark Hughes tenure. The UEFA Cup may be a second tier event, but winning the UEFA Cup has brought glory to managers such as Gerrard Houllier and Juan DeRamos.
We’ll preview the match itself on Thursday morning BST.