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FC Midtjylland preview

A welcome relief given the events of the past week to actually be able to focus on matters on the pitch as opposed to dealing with problems off it.

Whilst the backdrop to this game has of course been well documented, I'm sure Mark Hughes is looking for the side to banish all thoughts of a distraction and effectively win the tie tomorrow evening and has been bullish in his comments to the press in the build up.

Despite Darius Vassell joining the injury list, we hope to welcome back Martin Petrov back from injury and Vedran Corluka (back from White Hart Lane?) to the squad from the side that defeated Milan last Saturday.

It remains to be seen who Hughes will opt for in attack, or even if we will persevere with the 4-4-2 given the injuries in attack but both Daniel Sturridge and Ched Evans have proved themselves capable so far, whilst Valeri Bojinov has impressed whenever I have seen him.

Elsewhere, the interesting decision will come in defence, where Hughes will have to choose two from Corluka, Dunne, Ben Haim and Richards, whilst I expect Ball to get the nod over Garrido at left back.

The midfield is not overly blessed and clearly does need reinforcing, so I don't expect any surprises when the starting line up is announced.

First impressions when the draw was made were that we should easily progress, but FC Midtjylland have started their domestic campaign impressively, currently topping the Danish league, and they despatched Bangor City 10-1 in the first qualifying round and the Danes will be hoping to capitalise on the turmoil surrounding the club at present and they look to have goals in them.

Still, we should be expected to progress comfortably from the tie and we have progressed steadily through pre-season where we can really hit the ground running as the season really gets under way from tomorrow evening.

An early goal would be nice to settle the nerves that will undoubtedly be around, but whilst we may have to patient I expect us to come away with a 2-0 victory.

FC Midjtylland links