July 01, 2008: Champions League and UEFA Cup Draw:
Cup winners EB/Streymur
face Manchester City
in the UEFA Cup
Most clubs in the European Cups hope to meet weaker opposition, but in the Faroe Islands things are a bit different as the hope is usually to meet some of the bigger (and better) clubs. And as Manchester City was in the pot for the 1st qualifying round for this season's UEFA Cup, EB/Streymur hoped very much to be drawn against the Premier League club.
And that wish came through today. The Faroese Cup winners EB/Streymur will take on Mancester City in the Faroe Islands on Thursday 17 July , while the away leg will be played in on 31 July.
But neither team will use their usual home venue for the games. City´s home-match will not be played at the City of Manchester stadium, but at Oakwell in Barnsley. This is because of concerts being staged at the City-stadium.
EB/Streymur, who play their home matches on the artificial grass on their home-ground við Margáir, will instead host the match at Tórsvøllur Stadium, the national stadium in the capital, Tórshavn (natural grass)). The við Margáir ground only has a capacity of 200 seats. A lot more spectators than that are expected for the match. – And a fair share from Manchester also.
Mike Whalley, sports journalist from the Manchester Evening post, said in Faroese radio that the expectations in Manchester were that City would win comfortably. He also expected a lot of City-supporters to travel to the Faroe Islands to see their new team in action for the first time, and he said that this could become the biggest crowd EB/Streymur have ever played in front of.
EB/Streymur's chairman was all "dollar-eyes" (or pounds-eyes, rather) as he expected to earn some money on the TV-rights amongst other things.
Manchester City manager Mark Hughes isn't quite unfamiliar with the Faroe Islands and Faroese football. He twice faced the Faroes while playing for Wales. In 92 Wales won 6-0 at home, and the following year, Wales beat the Faroes 3-0 on Svangaskarð Stadium in Toftir, Faroe Islands (Hughes was not amongst the goal scorers in either match).
And this time around, Hughes still doesn't expect much resistant from the Faroese minnows: "Obviously, the strength of their league is nowhere near the Premier League, so you would like to think we would progress. Technically, we will be far and away the better side so you would expect that to be enough", he told City´s website.
Hughes also knows Faroese Under 21 goalkeeper Gunnar Nielsen (Blackburn´s 3rd choice), who was Hughes first signing as Blackburn manager.
B36 Tórshavn meet Danish club
Brøndby in the UEFA Cup
Also B36 (who qualified for the UEFA Cup with their 3rd spot in the league - (EB/Streymur were no. 2, but won the Cup) are very satisfied with their draw where they were paired with Danish club Brøndby. If they couldn't get Manchester City, either of the Danish sides, Brøndby and FC Copenhagen, were highest on their wish list. – They got Brøndby.
Brøndby has visited the Faroe Islands twice before, where they in both cases played friendlies. In 1988 they beat HB Tórshavn 3-0, and in the early nineties, Brøndby, with Morten Olsen at the helm, played against the Faroese National team; Brøndby won 3-2. Jan Allan Muller scored both Faroese goals with his head.
A few weeks before the Faroe Islands beat Austria in 1990, the Faroes played a friendly against Brøndby in Denmark, where Brøndby won 6-0!
Asked in Faroese radio what is a good result for the match, B36 coach Heðin Askham said that drawing away and winning at home would be a good result. But he added that even if that was not quite realistic, one should always have high expectations.
Both in 2005 and 2006, B36 qualified for the 2nd qulifying round (then under coach Sigríður Clementsen, who is now EB/Streymur-coach), but this B36 team doesn't have quite the same qualities as that team. The opposition in the 1st qualifying rounds then was also considerably weaker; Icelandic team IBV Vestmannaeyar in 2005 and Maltese side Birkikara in 2006.
The first leg of the match between B36 and Brøndby will be played in Brøndby on 17 July, while the 2nd leg is scheduled for 31 July (B36 say they are working on moving this match forward).
Champions NSÍ Runavík draw
Dinamo Tbilisi from Georgia
in the Champions League
If previous meetings for Faroese teams against Georgian teams are anything to go by, then NSÍ will be up against it when the play against Georgian champions Dinamo Tbilisi.
Faroese teams have faced Georgian opposition in the Champions League or UEFA cup 3 times before. The goal difference in those 6 matches is 5-20 in favour of the Georgian teams.
Apart from HB´s 3-0 win at home in the 2nd leg against FC Wit in 2004/2005, the Georgian encounters have been a tricky one, especially the away-games. HB have lost 5-0 and 6-0 away, while B36 have lost 5-2.
Dinamo Tbilisi have won the Georgian title 13 times and the cup 8 times since 1990 (Georgia declared its independence in 1991). In 1980/81, they won the European cup winners cup representing the Soviet Union, beating East German side Carl Zeiss Jena 2-1 in the final!
The playing dates for the tie between NSÍ and Tbilisi are still to be decided.
The winner of the tie will be rewarded with a meeting with Greek club Panathinaikos in the 2nd qualifying round of the competition.
UEFA Intertoto Cup
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HB Tórshavn have already completed their participation in the UEFA Intertoto Cup where they lost 4-1 at home and drew 0-0 away against Elfsborg.
HB Tórshavn vs. Elfsborg
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