København eye up City scalp

Following their 2006/07 UEFA Champions League group-stage win over Manchester United FC, Ståle Solbakken's FC København will look for a similar result against the European champions' neighbours Manchester City FC.

Manchester City and manager Mark Hughes faced Danish opposition earlier this season.
Manchester City and manager Mark Hughes faced Danish opposition earlier this season. ©Getty Images

Buoyed by memories of their UEFA Champions League group-stage victory over Manchester United FC in the 2006/07 campaign, Ståle Solbakken's FC København will be determined to add another Rainy City scalp to their collection when Mark Hughes's Manchester City FC visit the Parken Stadium.

• This will be the two sides' first meeting in European club competition.

• København have played four European games against English clubs, recording one win, one draw and two defeats.

• Two of these four matches came at home. The first ended in a 1-0 loss to Chelsea FC in the second round of the 1998/99 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, while the second was a 1-0 UEFA Champions League group-stage win against City's neighbours Manchester United on 1 November 2006.

• Former Aston Villa FC forward Marcus Allbäck scored the only goal of that game in the 73rd minute.

• Of the current København UEFA Cup squad, only goalkeeper Jesper Christiansen, Hjalte Nørregaard, Atiba Hutchinson, Oscar Wendt and William Kvist featured in that famous win.

• Neither B1903 København nor Kjøbenhavns BK, who merged to form FC København in 1992, ever played a competitive game against an English club.

• Having never previously met a Danish side, City are now set to face their second Superligaen opponents of the season. In the UEFA Cup second qualifying round, they overcame FC Midtjylland on penalties after a 1-1 aggregate draw.

• Hughes's charges surprisingly went down 1-0 at the City of Manchester Stadium in the first leg, before prevailing 1-0 away courtesy of an 89th-minute own goal from Daniel Benjamin Califf. The English outfit eventually won 4-2 on spot-kicks after extra time at the Messecentret in Herning.

• Prior to this season, Hughes had only encountered Danish opposition four times in competitive games as a player and coach – all at international level. In the preliminary round of the 1988 UEFA European Championship, Wales won 1-0 at home and lost 1-0 away against Denmark. In the qualifiers for UEFA EURO 2000™, Wales won 2-1 away and lost 2-0 at home to the Danes.

• Both Hughes and Solbakken played in Norway's 3-1 friendly win against Wales in Cardiff on 9 March 1994. However, Hughes left the field for the hosts at half-time, while Solbakken came on as a 69th-minute substitute for the visitors.

• Solbakken can call on Premier League experience, having scored once in six league games for Wimbledon FC in the 1997/98 season. That was the midfielder's one and only campaign in England.

• Solbakken's only two previous matches against English sides as a coach both came against Manchester United in Group F of the 2006/07 UEFA Champions League. A 3-0 defeat at Old Trafford on 17 October 2006 was followed by the aforementioned 1-0 win in Copenhagen.

• As a player, Solbakken was involved in Norway's 0-0 friendly draw against England in Oslo on 11 October 1995.

• København left-back Niclas Jensen played for City between 2002 and 2003, helping them clinch promotion to the Premier League in the 2001/02 season and a ninth-placed finish the following campaign before moving on to BV Borussia Dortmund.

• Jensen subsequently returned to England for a second spell, turning out for Fulham FC between 2005 and 2007.

• København's well-travelled winger Jesper Grønkjær, who returned to training in January after a lengthy injury absence, played for Chelsea FC from 2000 to 2004. In his final campaign at Stamford Bridge, the former Thisted IK, Aalborg BK, AFC Ajax, Birmingham City FC, Club Atlético de Madrid and VfB Stuttgart winger shared a dressing room with City's January signing Wayne Bridge.

• København's Brazilian striker José Junior turned out for English lower league sides Walsall FC, Derby County FC and Rotherham United FC between 2002 and 2005.

• City boast Danish talent in the form of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, whose father Peter was a team-mate of Hughes's at Manchester United.

• København goalkeeper Christiansen and City defender Michael Ball were at Rangers FC together from 2001 to 2003. Christiansen was also a team-mate of City's Martin Petrov during a loan spell at VfL Wolfsburg in 2002/03, in which he made no appearances.

• København have lost just once in ten UEFA Cup games this season, going down 3-1 at home to AS Saint-Etienne in the group stage. Their record in the 2008/09 competition reads W6 D3 L1.

• The Danish side have failed to win in their last three European home games.

• A 3-1 reverse at Real Racing Club in their final UEFA Cup group-stage game ended City's run of six UEFA Cup matches – five wins and a draw – without defeat since the loss against Midtjylland.

• Defeat in Santander also ended an impressive sequence of results away from home. City had recorded six wins and a draw in their seven previous European away games, and had not lost a European match on their travels since a 3-1 reverse at VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach in the 1978/79 UEFA Cup semi-finals.

• City qualified for the UEFA Cup through the UEFA Fair Play system and reached the Round of 32 as Group A winners. København, third in the Danish Superligaen last season, finished third in Group G.

• Kobenhavn's Thomas Kristensen, William Kvist and Zdeněk Pospěch are all within a booking of a suspension, as is City's Pablo Zabaleta.

• January squad changes:-
Players added to squad list: Dame N'Doye, Martin Vingaard.
Players removed from squad list: Nikolaj Hansen, Jacob Neestrup.
Players added to squad list: Wayne Bridge, Craig Bellamy, Shay Given, Adam Clayton, Donal McDermott, Ryan McGivern.
Players removed from squad list: Michael Ball, Dietmar Hamann, Tal Ben Haim, Samuel Williamson.

• The victors will meet the winners of the Aalborg BK v RC Deportivo La Coruña tie in the Round of 16 on 12 and 18/19 March, playing the first leg at home.

• Therefore, there could be an all-Danish clash in the next round if both København and AaB come through their ties.