I'm sure to get a lot of raised eyebrows when I say that the only big advantage Manchester City has over us is the big number of big names they have on their squad and despite the repeated use of 'big' that advantage is not that big as it might seem.
For sure, I wouldn't want to be in Mancini's shoes these days - to be facing a totally unknown adversary and to have to choose a starting 11 from over 30 players with impressive skills and big figures next to their name on the transfer market. Not to mention to have them play as a team and to motivate them.
It is my reasoning that pumping loads of money into a team is no silver bullet to big performances. Manchester City's recent history reminds me somehow of Poli's history. After struggling a bit in the lower division, City managed to make a stable comeback in the Premier League in the early 2000s. The Arabian investors' transfer spree is similar (but larger in scale, of course) to Poli's strategy when BKP came in. Each year we would buy a whole new set of overpriced players, and each year, the results would be mediocre. The same seems to be with City these days. With only one European Cup participation (albeit a pretty good one) in the last five years, their strategy still has to prove its worth. Especially, after the utter failure of missing the last Champions League place in the previous season. I'm betting Tottenham Hotspur is a truely despised team by the "Citizens" by now. Will Politehnica Timișoara be another one?
I see two possible scenarios for this game. Either we make some big mistakes in defense and give away the first goal and possibly end in disaster, or we can bet on a 1X ending. I think the key is the concentration that our defenders will have. And they are known for surpassing themselves in the big European matches - if we think of last years bouts with Shaktar, Stuttgart or Ajax. On the other hand, there were mistakes in other matches as well, so anything is possible. But I'm sure we stand a better chance than most people see it.
Let's go, Poli!