Santander preview

Last updated : 31 July 2004 By Michael Morris
City welcome La Liga side Racing Santander to Ninian Park this afternoon. It's the first match in a European double header with Lazio the visitors on Monday evening.

These two games are the last that Lennie has to shape his starting line up for the "big one" at Crewe next Saturday.

Todays game will probably see a fair few substitutions. I would imagine the starting XI will include the players who missed out at Cheltenham with most if not all of the 19 man senior squad available seeing some action.

On Monday, when City run out against Lazio, we can expect to see Lennie's chosen line up for Crewe. The game on Monday wil be the final dress rehersal for the opening Championship (Division 1) game.

"It will be a very interesting weekend of football that's for sure," Lennie told the Echo.

"Against Racing I can't have my players doing 90 minutes and then play a game against Lazio two days later - that would be unfair. The Lazio match is different - the team I start with on Monday will more then likely be the team I start with at Crewe the following Saturday. I need to know that the players I intend to open the season with are ready for action.

Santander have played twice in the UK in the previous week. Both goalless draws at Tranmere and Port Vale.

I must admit to knowing little about the Spaniards. They only just managed to avoid relegation from La Liga last season.

Last week at Tranmere Santander used 21 players during the game. they were

Dudu, Alvarez, Ayoze, Moraton, Casar, Matabuena, Afek, Meteo, Arthuro, Jonatan, Marques, Regragui, Oriol, Juanma, Neru, Moran, Nafti, Anderson, Benayoun, Guerrero, Regueiro.

Not to many houshold names but they will certainly make it an interesting afternoon with City looking to become the first team to score past them on their tour of the UK.