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Nic Ladds 18th Feb 2009 - 21:49

Hughes unlikely to find the answer in Denmark

Manchester City may be favourites for this game at 7/5 in the betting but Copenhagen are more than capable of dealing Mark Hughes another blow at a tempting 2/1.

FC Copenhagen came through a really tough qualifying group when no one thought they would and have a decent side which can post City plenty of problems.

The fact that their domestic season doesn't start for two weeks is a negative as their player could be lacking a bit of sharpness but you can be sure they will be prepared for this knowing they can win as City's problems are well documented.

While their results are starting to improve their performances still leave much to be desired and their poor 2-0 loss to Portsmouth last week will not fill the players with confidence and Premier League survival is surely paramount.

City both leak goals and have had problems scoring them which added to their dismal away form could spell trouble for them.

Top-scorer Robinho is fit for the game and is 11/2 to score first with Craig Bellamy also at 11/2 and Caicedo 13/2.

Elano looked world-class playing for Brazil against Italy as did Robinho but the two just don't produce that quality for City which must be giving Mark Hughes a few sleepless nights. Elano would be a great bet at 7/2 to score anytime if he can reproduce anywhere near his International form.

Copenhagen have some useful players and their main protagonists can't be split in the betting with Brazilian pair Cesar and Ailton Almedia and Danish striker Morten Nordstrand all available at odds of 7/1 to get the first goal.

The Danish side grinded out a lot of their UEFA Cup group results against some tough opposition with 1-1 draws being the most common score line for which you can get 11/2 this time round with 0-0 at 6/1 and the draw for the match result is 11/5.

Although it is hard to say what you are going to get with Man City, this looks like it will be low scoring making 1-0 to the home side at 13/2 and 2-0 at 12/1 appealing. If you think City can justify their favourite's tag then 1-0 to City is 11/2, 2-0 8/1 and 2-1 is also 8/1.

If the lack of match fitness does affect the Danes then a late City surge may be on the cards making draw halftime/Man City fulltime at 9/2 possible with draw/draw 4/1 and Man City halftime/fulltime the favourite at 13/5.

While on paper City should have this easily you get the feeling that they would be more than happy with a draw to take back for the second leg in Manchester.

Despite the new signings which should bolster the team, especially the likes of Shay Given, it is blindingly obvious that all is not well at Manchester City.

Copenhagen will know they can win this against a disorganised side who more often than not, especially away from home look like amateurs.

Due to their possible lack of match fitness however it is hard to call a result but at the prices a Man City win would be the last option of the three and if we are right, add this to poor league form and repeated reports of player unrest and this match may have more significance than you can imagine for poor Mark Hughes.

Draw - 11/5

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