Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Europa League Preview: OB Odense - Getafe

With Getafe having put in a suberb performance against Sevilla on Saturday evening, confidence is high among the Azulones. Yet the Madrid side's current European form leaves much to be desired, and as such nothing can be taken for granted ahead of Wednesday's visit to Odense to face OB.

With four games played in the Europa League group stage Getafe are on the verge of European elimination, having taken just three points so far. Those came against OB themselves at the Coliseum back on Matchday 1, Javier Arizmendi and Pedro Ríos bringing Geta back from a goal down.

Since then two losses to Young Boys of Bern and Stuttgart render Getafe decided outsiders to progress: defeat, in fact, will almost certainly result in elimination, while even a draw will not be good enough if already-qualified Stuttgart lose to the Swiss.

Geta coach Míchel, still beaming from Saturday's result, has put aside all talk of his managerial future to focus on Wednesday's game, calling up a strong squad replete with regular first teamers. Rafa returns to the squad after recent injury, but Javier Casquero and Javier Arizmendi are unable to recover in time to travel to Denmark.

OB are yet to announce their squad but in the aftermath of their 2-0 defeat to Brondby in a match vital for both sides' Champions league aspirations, coach Henrik Clausen may ring the changes, particularly as influential midfielder Hans Henrik Andreasen limped off injured midway through the first half. The veteran, who scored twice against Young Boys in OB's last Europa League outing, is now doubtful for the Geta clash.

The Odense club have realistically given up their title ambitions already, with FC Copenhagen leading by 19 points after just 18 games, but need to remain in the top four to secure a European spot for next season; and with Getafe not safe from being sucked into the relegation mire, this tie may take a back seat for both sides.

Nonetheless OB will feel that there is a score to settle and their small but loud set of fans are likely to produce an atmosphere that was sadly lacking at the Coliseum last time these sides met.

Probable line ups:

Ustari; Miguel Torres, Cata Díaz, Ibrahim Kas, Mané; Boateng, Borja; Pedro Ríos, Albín, Manu; Miku.

OB: Carroll; Ruud, Moller Christensen, Haland, Sorensen; Traoré, Djemba-Djemba, Feldballe/Andreasen, Kadrii; Johansson; Utaka.


In other news, Eugen Polanski has made permanent his loan move from Getafe to high-flying Bundesliga outfit Mainz, siging a deal with the Pfalz side until 2014.

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