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AC Omonia preview

A big pair of games coming up for us in this competition as a win in this tie will see us qualify for the group stages, and realistically we should start as definite favourites, and having switched the initial home leg to Cyprus, I think we will fare far better at home in the second leg knowing what we have to do to progress.

Having scraped past FC Midtjylland, it is hoped that with almost ten games under our belt in all competitions this season we should be upto full speed now, so should be far better placed to avoid slipping up.

AC Omonia have a very good history, winning the Cypriot championship 19 times - dominating in the 1970's and 1980's, and qualified for this stage of the UEFA Cup by knocking out Greek side AEK Athens.

Martin Petrov is still ruled out for us, and although Michael Johnson has travelled, he is still doubtful. Mark Hughes has spoken of the need to rotate the squad this season but I don't see it here - with the Carling Cup tie at Brighton next week an ideal opportunity for the fringe and younger players.

Defensively, we will need to be strong as I expect, as the home side, Omonia will test us. Patience will be a key also, and we have to be careful not to be too reckless so it may be that Hughes does play a line-up with a slightly less attacking formation to it.

I don't see problems for us though, and with a good following expected, I'll take us to come away with a 2-0 victory.