Poznan out to pinch top spot

The Polish champions, who have already qualified for the knockout

stages, head to Salzburg for their final round-robin game knowing

they could edge ahead of mega-rich City if results go in their

favour. Poznan trail City by two points as they prepare to face a

Salzburg side that have collected just two points from their five

games. City also face a team already eliminated, but the prospect

of tackling second-placed Serie A side Juventus in Turin, after a

much-publicised fall-out with star player Carlos Tevez, is a tough

one for the English club. Poznan may lack match fitness as the

Polish league has started its winter break and the weather has made

training difficult, but coach Jose Maria Bakero says there will be

no shortage of motivation in Austria. “We are going there to win

the game,” said the former Barcelona midfielder, who took charge in

October. “We have no fear, although we have not had much

opportunity to train on a normal pitch.” Salzburg have also been

hampered in their preparations and Bakero does not feel a lack of

action will have a major effect on the game. The Spaniard added:

“Of course we are aware of this, we are ready for it. “Remember,

however, the conditions are the same for both teams. We will try to

adapt to them as best we can. “But they are a team that play well

at home. They play an attacking game and it will not be easy. “To

get a good result we must play at the best of our ability.” Poznan

will want to attack freely themselves as the group could come down

to goal difference. That would happen if the Poles win and City

draw, as the head-to-head records between the clubs are identical.

Poznan’s goal difference is currently three worse than City’s.

Salzburg, who have scored just one goal so far, are destined to

finish bottom of the group. They were beaten 2-0 by the Poles when

the sides met earlier in the competition.