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Preview – Racing Santander ‘v’ Man City

A City side, suffering from a lack of confidence and results in the Premier League, travel to Spanish team Racing Santander in Group A of the UEFA Cup. City have already guaranteed their qualification from the group, but need to match or better FC Twente’s result in their match against Paris Saint Germain to be sure of topping the table. Santander require a win to have any chance of progressing from this tight group.

Blues boss Mark Hughes, yet again, has to deal with a number of selection dilemnas. A number of key players are unavailabnle for the trip to Sapin, whilst Hughes also has an eye on the weeked visit to West Brom in the Premier League. Captain Richard Dunne has not travelled with the squad after his wife had a baby yesterday, whilst strikers Benjani, Danny Sturridge and Jo are all oout with injuries and illness. It is also likley that Hughes will rest key players, such as Stephen Ireland and Vincent Kompany, after a recent heavy workload. Israeli international Tal Ben-Haim will come into the side to replace Dunne and young Welsh striker Ched Evans is battling it out with the more experienced Darius Vassell for the lone berth up-front.

Evans is pushing for a place in the side

In a new and highly exciting feature, I will name, each match, the side that I, as manager, would send out to play.

My team:

                                     Hart

Zabaleta         Onuoha            Ben-Haim               Garrido

                      Richards           Kompany

Wright-Phillips            Ireland                     Robinho

                                   Vassell

Subs: Schmeichel, Ball, Berti, Hamann, Elano, Evans, Mak

To be honest, I don’t know much, if anything, about Santander, so for the first ever time in my blogging career, the ‘key battles’ feature is having a day off, but will be back better than ever for the next match!!

Verdict: Santander 1 – 3 Man City

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