we should not underestimate them !!! but we cna play some young guns like RAFAEL !!!! and amos
..........manutd.com said:How did Aalborg qualify?
Aalborg qualified for the Champions League for a second time – a record for a
Danish side – by winning the Superliga last season, the third title in the club’s 106
-year history. Bruce Rioch’s side finished nine points clear of second-place FC
Midtylland, the team that nearly knocked Manchester City out of the UEFA Cup,
and 11 ahead of FC Copenhagen, United’s CL opponents in 2006/07. They made
it through to the group stages by virtue of a 7-1 aggregate win against Bosnians
FC Modrica – a convincing 5-0 win in the home leg made the second leg a
formality – and a third qualifying round victory over FBK Kaunas, the Lithuanian
side who humbled Rangers in the previous round. The Danes won the first leg 2-0
on their home patch, and repeated the scoreline in the Lithuanian capital. Kaunas
didn’t help their cause by having two players sent off as they chased the tie in
the second leg.
Are they any good in Europe?
Aalborg are the first Danish side to enjoy a second bite of the Champions League
cherry, having previously made it through to the European top table in 1995/96.
It proved to be a baptism of fire, as they lost their first five matches against
Dynamo Kiev, Porto and Nantes before earning their first ever CL point with a 2-2
draw against the Portuguese champions. The Danes have had recent European
experience, though. They won one only game in last year’s UEFA Cup group
stage, but gave Spurs a huge fright at ‘The Lane’ by taking a two-goal advantage
before losing 3-2.
Who's their main man on the pitch?
Andreas Johansson has the dubious honour of being the last player
to be sent off at Highbury… and that was without touching the ball after coming
on as a substitute for Wigan! An attacking midfielder, Johansson wasn’t a hit with
everyone at the JJB Stadium and scored just four goals in 29 games, but he’s
proved a handful for Danish defences since arriving last summer. Most dangerous
when given time to create, Johansson is also a handy ball-winner in the centre of
the park. He enjoyed his best spell as a player in his native Sweden with
Djurgardens, where he won two titles and a Swedish Cup.
Who's their gaffer?
A familar face... Bruce Rioch. The former Arsenal and Bolton manager
(to name just a couple) took over the reins at AaB in July after Erik Hamren
switched Scandinavian allegiances to join Norway’s Rosenborg BK. But what’s
Bruce doing in Denmark? Well, it’s not his first stint in the country – he was in
charge at Odense for 20 months until his wife’s illness forced him to resign in
March 2007. While there he enjoyed a win over Hibernian in the third round of the
Intertoto Cup in 2006.
And the skipper?
American defender Danny Califf led Aalborg to their first Danish title in nine years.
But he subsequently signed for FC Midtjylland, leaving the captain’s armband
behind for Thomas Augustinussen. A striker in his formative years,
Augustinussen has real aerial presence (he stands 6’ 4” tall) and scored five
goals in his 20 games for Denmark’s Under-21 team. He has since dropped back
into central midfield where he’s proved the perfect fit… unlike his name on the
back of Aalborg’s shirts!
How many punters do they pull in?
It’s fair to say AaB don’t have the same global appeal of United. In fact, the
Danish champions’ official supporters club only boasts about 3,000 members. That
said, you can bet they’ll be in full voice when United come to town… no doubt
fuelled by the local schnapps (or akvavit), rumoured to be the best in the land.
Just 6,000 fans witnessed the side qualify for the Champions League group
stages and they averaged 8,945 last season, making them only the sixth best
supported team in Denmark. The team didn’t seem to mind - they lost only one
home game, a 3-2 ding-dong against Odensk Boldklub.
Where do we find them?
Bruce Rioch’s side play their home games at the Energi Nord Arena. Reports that
the atmosphere is always electric are unconfirmed, although on its website the
club proudly boasts a floodlight strength of 1,200 lux. Very illuminating. Anyway,
the ground can only hold 10,500 for European games, so expect cosy rather than
colossal. Built in 1920, it was completely overhauled in 1960 and then given
another major upgrade in 2002.