Oceania Football Confederation > News > FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2013 > Oceania champions ready for Espanyol test

Oceania champions ready for Espanyol test

The Navy Blues set-up their FIFA Club World Cup training base in Barcelona this morning and have one training session before they take on an Espanyol side likely to include a handful of La Liga, Segunda B and youth talent tomorrow.
The fixture – set-up by Auckland City FC coach Ramon Tribulietx – is sure to test the capacity of his squad with the FIFA Club World Cup showdown with Raja Casablanca just one week away.
“In terms of preparation we’re playing a team that will hold the ball a lot more than when we play teams in New Zealand.
“We’re going to have to defend a bit more than we’re used to but it will be a good experience for us to work our defensive patterns especially.
“When we have the ball to work on how we can break a team like Espanyol with our possession. There’s a few things in there that will be helpful for our preparation,” he said.
For Tribulietx the trip holds special meaning with the 41-year-old Barcelona-born coach as he returns to his home town looking to make an impression.
“It’s a dream come true. Ten years ago I would never have believed I would be bringing my team here. It’s only a couple of days (in Barcelona) but I’m pretty sure I’m going to enjoy it,” he said.
Auckland City’s hit out against La Liga opposition is the first for any New Zealand side since a throw-together All Whites faced Sevilla on August 15, 2006.
Only defender James Pritchett, who lined up in that match alongside a defence comprising Tony Lochhead, Danny Hay and Steven Old, has experience of facing Spanish club opposition for a New Zealand side.
The All Whites lost that game 5-1 against the then UEFA Cup holders, and although the Espanyol side expected to take the field may be shorn of its top tier talent, Tribulietx is expecting a difficult challenge for the Oceania club champions.
“It’s a friendly game but we will put most players on the field for sure. As far as I am concerned, Espanyol will play two sets of players.
“Most will come from their Espanyol B team with one or two from the first team but the core of players will be from their B side.
“It’ll be good for some of our players who haven’t had game time for different reasons. It’s a great opportunity for some of our players to gain the experience of what it is playing against a side like Espanyol. We will try to use it to our benefit,” Tribulietx said.
Espanyol sit tenth in La Liga and is coached by former Mexico national team boss Javier Aguirre Onaindía. Their most recent outing was a 2-1 defeat to Real Sociedad.
Espanyol B, which plays in Segunda Liga Group III, sit 12th in the 20 team division.
Extra Information
Thursday 5 December, 2013
Espanyol (ESP) v Auckland City FC (NZL)
Centre D’Alt Rendient Esportiv
Barcelona, Spain
Kick-off: 11.30am local time/11.30pm NZST
AKL: 1- Tamati WILLIAMS (GK), 3- Takuya IWATA, 4- Mario BILEN, 5- Angel BERLANGA, 6- John IRVING, 7- James PRITCHETT, 8- Chris BALE, 9- Darren WHITE, 10- Ryan de VRIES, 11- Daniel KOPRIVCIC, 12- Roy KRISHNA, 13- Alex FENERIDIS, 14- Adam DICKINSON, 15- Ivan VICELICH ©, 16- Cristobal Marquez CRESPO, 17- Adam McGEORGE, 18- Louie CAUNTER (GK), 19- David BROWNE, 20- Emiliano TADE, 21- Rory TURNER, 22- Andrew MILNE, 23- Sam BURFOOT, 24- Oliver SAIL (GK).
Coach: Ramon TRIBULIETX.
*Media Coverage
Live updates provided on www.aucklandcityfc.com
Goal alerts via Twitter: “@AucklandCity_FC”
Full match report also available via Auckland City FC Smart Phone app “ACFC” (downloadable from iTunes and for Android)
Video Highlights available post-match via YouTube
*All coverage subject to change

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