After two preseason games we have Bristol City tomorrow, Preston North End on Saturday before Midtjylland in Champions League qualification one week today. Midtjylland have played one more game then us since their return to training last month and start their league campaign on Friday evening.
Our only consolation is the Danes look as ill prepared for a fixture of this magnitude as we are. There are only two group stage places available in the non-champions route of the tournament; you would be forgiven for thinking this possibility was not worth hoping for, but we are in strange times.
By ranking, those two places are earmarked for Benfica and Shakhtar Donetsk. Shakhtar have not played a competitive game since March and Benfica’s only competitive game in that period was a cup final in May (they lost). The Euros is another complication for preseason regimes.
There is a clear opportunity for a well-prepared team to punch above their weight in these qualifiers. Ange has a lot of work to do if he’s to take advantage. We will learn more against Midtjylland.