Thursday, July 15, 2010

SPL In Europe: Eureka! Europa!

Traditionally this would be the post where I offer my expert opinion on Motherwell's Europa League opener against Icelandic side Breidablik.

I would warn against the dangers of the opposition's towering centre forward and give some indication of Motherwell's readiness based on their friendly games.

But I can't. Clean forgot to do any research because this article absolutely slipped my mind.

So my preview essentially extends to: Motherwell play in the Europa League tonight. Scottish clubs were a bit hopeless in Europe last year. Be nice to do better this year. Good luck Motherwell.

Here's a touch more from The Motherwell Times:

However, Craig Brown knows his men face a tricky test against Breidablik who are top of the Icelandic Premier League after 11 games following a 4-0 win over Stjarnan at the weekend.

The manager used last week's friendlies against lower league opposition to involve as many of his players as possible.

Breidablik visit Fir Park for the second qualifying round first leg and Brown said: "We don't want to use the fact they have already started their season as an excuse.

"We have now had 19 training sessions and three matches, and Archie Knox is one of the best in the business when it comes to pre-season fitness, so we should be fit now."


Obviously Craig has mastered optimism. But it does sound like Motherwell come into this game with better preparation than some of our teams have managed for these early European ties and in better shape than they were in losing a first leg to Llanelli last year.

John Sutton thinks so:

"I think from the training and management point of view we are a lot better prepared.

"Obviously we have a similar problem in that there have been a few personnel changes in key positions.

"I think with this team being top of the league, this is a much tougher proposition.

"You would prefer to go into it having played a few leagues games but hopefully things will click into place.

"There's no doubt they will have a bit of an advantage but we have prepared as well as we can with the fitness work and training. We're confident in our ability to play well."


But there is always something of the unknown about these games. Motherwell will have some trepidation, although hopefully a solid start can set them up for the second leg. Fingers crossed.

And it's nice to have "proper" football back.

Tika taka, my ar*e.