Man City v Aalborg preview

12 March 2009 10:29
Manchester City's Uefa Cup challenge continues as they welcome Aalborg to Eastlands for the first leg of their last 16 clash.

City boss Mark Hughes has targeted Europe's second-tier club competition as he looks to end the club's 33-year wait for a major piece of silverware.

While the North West outfit have lofty ambitions to compete in the UEFA Champions League, their Danish opponents already have experience of Europe's top table.

Aalborg finished third in Group E behind Manchester United and Villarreal and claimed a memorable 2-2 draw at Old Trafford in their final fixture before being parachuted into the Uefa Cup.

Magnus Pehrsson's side then showed they are a force to be reckoned with by brushing aside Deportivo La Coruna 6-1 on aggregate in their round of 32 meeting.

City have already overcome two Danish teams to reach this stage of the tournament with victories over FC Midtjylland and FC Copenhagen.

Robinho returnsHughes is boosted by the return to fitness of record signing Robinho as City look to justify their tag as favourites to lift the trophy in Istanbul in May.

The £32.5million Brazil international has overcome the ankle injury which forced him to miss last week's 2-0 win over Aston Villa.

Fellow forward Craig Bellamy remains on the sidelines after suffering a knee injury in the 1-0 defeat at the hands of his former club West Ham last month.

Hughes has a selection headache in midfield with Vincent Kompany (toe) struggling and January signing Nigel de Jong not registered for the competition.

City duo Micah Richards and Pablo Zabaleta are one booking away from suspension, with the same threat hanging over Aalborg's Jeppe Curth, Thomas Enevoldsen and Michael Jakobsen.

Familiar faces in the visitors' line-up include former Wigan midfielder Andreas Johansson, ex-Sheffield United striker Luton Shelton and former Wimbledon defender Kjetil Waehler.

Source: SKY_Sports