Who are FC Timisoara?
If Manchester City fans had only one question on their minds after the draw for the Europa League play-offs, it was probably this: Just who are FC Timisoara?
Having pulled the Romanians out of the glass bowl at Uefa HQ in Nyon two weeks ago, City fans will have been flocking to their atlases and busily clicking on web-based encyclopedias to find out more about the team that stands in their way of the group stage of European football's second-tier competition.
But the story of FC Timisoara, as they eventually came to be known, is one with many complications, a point Jonathan Wilson brilliantly explained in his blog on the Guardian website exactly a year ago as the club from the west of Romania prepared to face Stuttgart for a place in the Champions League.
To try to tell it briefly, the city of Timisoara has endured a strange time with its football clubs recently. In 2000, the city's original club, Politehnica 1921 Stiinta Timisoara, were moved 347 miles by Italian owner Claudio Zambon to Bucharest (where they now play in the fourth division of Romanian football) in order to bolster their fanbase, a switch that spectacularly backfired. It was a relocation that makes Wimbledon's controversial move to Milton Keynes seem like a walk across the park.
With a sporting vacuum needing to be filled in Timisoara, AEK Bucharest moved west two years later before AEK's then owner, Anton Dobos, changed their name to Politehnica AEK Timisoara. They were adopted by the city as their own, playing in the same ground with the same kit as the old Politehnica, before Zambon sued the club and won, meaning Timisoara had to give up their claims to the history of Politehnica Timisoara and change both their club badge and the colour of their shirts.
In truth, the history of these football clubs lends itself more to a book than a blog. From scouring the internet and a chat with the club's press officer, the helpful Levente Balint, it quickly becomes apparent that the Timisoara situation is something of a minefield, with legal issues and court cases aplenty.
But hopefully for the people of the city and the players, FC Timisoara are here to stay. Dobos's replacement Marian Iancu, who is also president of the UK-based oil company Balkan Petroleum (BKP), certainly has the confidence to mix with the big-hitters of European football as they aim for a place in the group stages at City's expense.
Can Mancini and Tevez survive a shock at Petrovic and Contra's Timisoara?
"We are over-motivated to go to the group stages," Iancu, who has invested more than £33m in the club, told BBC Sport. "We will eliminate Manchester City, as we did last season against Shakhtar Donetsk [in the Champions League qualifying competition, before they lost to Stuttgart in the next round].
"I have great confidence in my team - this will not just be another show, it will be our triumph. Our players have a financial bonus for these two games, some of them can earn about £80,000 each if we knock City out.
"We are a mature team, we have huge experience already and we can pull off this surprise. We will win in Timisoara and make life hard for them away. We just need some courage, to bring the people to the stadium and make them believe in our strength."
So, next question: who are the players Iancu is banking on to cause what would be a seismic shock in the capital of Timis County?
Well, according to the usually reliable transfermarkt website, the squad's value is about £21.5m, less than the individual transfer fees of eight City players - Robinho, Emmanuel Adebayor, Carlos Tevez, Joleon Lescott, David Silva, Yaya Toure, Mario Balotelli and James Milner.
Winger Alexandru Curtean, left-back Laszlo Sepsi, midfielder Lukas Magera and striker Dorin Goga all cost the club more than one million euros (£826,000), while the most notable name on the teamsheet will be familiar to many football fans, as Balint explained to me.
"Cosmin Contra is the most famous player we have," he said. "Now he is 34 years old and he has come back to his native town after a glorious career which took him to Spain with Alaves, Atletico Madrid and Getafe, Italy with AC Milan and England with West Brom. He played 72 times for Romania, making him the most-capped Timisoaran player of all time."
Though president Iancu's confidence in his players is commendable, it isn't exactly backed up by a flying start to the season, with Timisoara winning only one of their first four games and sitting sixth in the table after a 1-1 draw at lowly Universitatea Craiova on Sunday.
Manager Vladimir Petrovic, at least, is aware of the task facing the Timisorenii. "I think it's normal that the owner says we will qualify, surely he wants to give an impulse to the team," said the 55-year-old, who played 34 times for Yugoslavia and is a Red Star Belgrade legend. "We respect each team and we respect Manchester City, but we are not afraid of them."
Petrovic should know a thing or two about English football too, after a 22-game spell playing for Arsenal during the 1982-83 season the Gunners' first foreign signing (at £500,000 an expensive one, too) scored three times.
A continent will be keeping a close eye on an upset on Thursday, but Timisoara is a city well used to people looking in on it from the outside. This, after all, was the place where the Romanian Revolution began in 1989, a bloody conflict in which communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu was overthrown and executed by firing squad.
This time, however, Timisoara will be the setting for a football match that might just turn into a carnival, according to club captain Dan Alexa. "For the city of Timisoara, playing against one of the best teams in the world is a real reason for celebration."
Tickets for the contest at the Dan Paltinisanu stadium can be bought for as little as £5, Balint tells me. It seems a small price to pay to see one of European football's most intriguing early-season ties, as Roberto Mancini and his Manchester City superstars aim to avoid an embarrassing upset.