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City wary of Aris Salonika threat

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18 Dec 2010 18:45:13

| Submit Comments| Comments (6)| Printable Version1/1Play SlideshowClose MapRoberto Mancini in TurinIf City believe they have been handed an easy route to the Europa League last 16, they might want to have a word with Atletico Madrid. The Blues certainly have every chance of reaching the competition?s latter stages after avoiding potentially awkward ties against Napoli, Sevilla or Lille. And Roberto Mancini?s men will be overwhelming favourites to defeat Greek side Aris Thessaloniki over two legs in February. The Blues will travel to northern Greece for the first leg on Tuesday, February 15, with the return at Eastlands nine days later. Get through that, and a clash with Turkish giants Besiktas or Ukrainian side Dynamo Kiev will await in March. Aris could be considered one of the weaker clubs left in the competition. They finished fourth in the Greek Super League last season, haven?t won their national title since 1946 and spent a season in their second division as recently as 2005/06. But under the guidance of Argentinian coach Hector Cuper, like Mancini a former Inter Milan boss, they did the double over Europa League holders Atletico Madrid, Diego Forlan, Sergio Aguero and all, in the group stages. A stunning 3-2 win helped Aris finish second to Bayer Leverkusen in Group B, eliminating Atletico. But they only secured that runners-up spot with a 2-0 victory over Norwegian club Rosenborg in their final group game, courtesy of goals from Croatian striker Danjiel Cesarec and French midfielder Ricardo Faty.


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