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Game preview and thread: City v Aris Salonika

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The return leg from last weeks goalless draw in Greece is a game finely poised. Concensus at one time was that a 0-0 draw in the away leg was a very good result but recent years have slightly disproved that theory with sides in general more inclined to attack away from home.

City are struggling with injuries but this is more a depth issue than with the starting line-up and should be confident of prevailing. Whilst Nigel de Jong is injured Mario Balotelli is expected to be fit, although likely to start on the bench with Carlos Tevez-Edin Dzeko-David Silva the front three with Gareth Barry, Yaya Toure and Patrick Vieira behind them.

A note of caution though is if City do concede a goal first tonight: Not only will this mean City have to win the game outright (within the ninety minutes) but they will have to overcome a poor record when they fall behind in games. City's record this season when conceding first in Cup games is W0D1L4 (overall W1D2L9). Contrast to this when scoring first in Cup games W7D0L1 (overall W20D2L2) and you can see how vital the opening goal will be.

To end on a positive note though: two English sides have played Aris previously in European competition and failed to win the first leg in Greece. Chelsea drew there in 1970/71 and Ipswich lost in 1980/81 - and went on to win the European Cup Winners Cup and UEFA Cup respectively.

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