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Sochaux seeking success

Published: Sunday 28 November 2004, 23.05CET
Group D: FC Sochaux-Montbéliard are desperate for a return to winning ways on Wednesday. features

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Published: Sunday 28 November 2004, 23.05CET

Sochaux seeking success

Group D: FC Sochaux-Montbéliard are desperate for a return to winning ways on Wednesday.
FC Sochaux-Montbéliard are eager to return to winning ways in UEFA Cup Group D on Wednesday. rounds up the weekend's domestic action.

Sochaux will be desperate to get their season back on track when they travel to Sporting Clube de Portugal on Wednesday. After losing 4-0 to Group D leaders Newcastle United FC on Matchday 3, they tripped up 2-1 at home against RC Lens in Ligue 1 on Sunday. Moroccan striker Jaouad Zairi impressed as he returned from a thigh injury but other than that, and Souleymane Diawara's goal, there were few bright spots. Sochaux are likely to be without defender Sylvain Monsoreau, midfielder Johann Lonfat and striker Marcelo Trapasso (all knee) in Portugal.

A point in midweek should suffice for Sporting, who closed the gap on Lisbon rivals SL Benfica and the other SuperLiga pacesetters with a 4-1 home defeat of Moreirense FC on 28 November. Striker Mauricio Pinilla came in for Roudolphe Douala and scored the opener before goals from Carlos Martins, Hugo Viana and Liedson wrapped up the win. However, Carlos Martins and Pinilla both suffered injuries and are doubtful for Wednesday.

Panionios NFC claimed their first win in five attempts at the weekend against newly promoted Kerkira FC - but only after a 40-minute delay. Regulation time had run down when the floodlights failed and the teams had to wait almost three-quarters of an hour before a goalless two minutes of added time could be played. Lubomir Meszaros, Mário Breška and Karlos Marcora scored in a 3-1 victory which gives the Greek outfit hope ahead of the home tie against fellow Group D strugglers FC Dinamo Tbilisi on Wednesday. Mico Smiljanic (knee) and Saša Zimonjic (groin) are unlikely to feature.

Dinamo Tbilisi
With three defeats to their name, the Georgian side must take three points from Panionios on Matchday 4 and hope that Sochaux lose in Portugal if they are to retain any chance of progressing from Group D. However, they still have question marks against the fitness of midfielder Georgi Nemsadze and defender Shota Kashia. Nonetheless, Dinamo Tbilisi lie second in their Premier League after Sunday's 4-1 success at FC Dila Gori.

Manager Graeme Souness saw Newcastle fail to win for the fourth successive home game in the English Premiership as they drew 1-1 with Everton FC on Sunday. Craig Bellamy scored his team's goal. His strike partner Alan Shearer is unlikely to return from a thigh injury before Newcastle's final group match at home to Sporting on 16 December.

Last updated: 29/11/04 20.34CET

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