UEFA Champions League group stage regulars RC Deportivo La Coruña and FC Internazionale will need to make full use of home advantage if they are to progress beyond the third qualifying round after tonight's second legs.
Deportivo were held 0-0 in Dublin by Irish champions Shelbourne FC. Javier Irureta, whose Deportivo side are aiming for a fifth consecutive group stage appearance, aims to field an unchanged team though midfield player Mauro Silva has a niggling hamstring injury. Striker Diego Tristán has been omitted but Aldo Duscher, Jaime Sánchez and Fran González are fit.
Right-back Héctor Berenguel said Deportivo had been concentrating on the tie since starting their pre-season work. "We were in a similar position last season when we met Rosenborg [BK] who we eliminated without too many problems," he said. "To be knocked out, especially at our own ground, would be a disaster."
Shelbourne manager Pat Fenlon believes an even bigger upset than their draw a fortnight ago is not impossible. He said: "It is going to take a lot of hard work, everything is going to have to fall right for us, but we would not be here unless we had some chance of making it through."
Inter, meanwhile, were held 1-1 at FC Basel 1893, and the Italian side know they will have to be at their best in Milan if they are to avoid elimination against a side that progressed to the second group stage in 2002/03. The home team are without Fabio Cannavaro and Obafemi Martins, and with fit-again Christian Vieri on the bench, Julio Cruz or Alvaro Recoba will partner Adriano in attack. Edgar Davids is available after a muscle injury.
Basel have invested heavily in their squad but go into the game on the back of some disappointing domestic results. Midfield player Mario Cantaluppi said: "We need to play very well and focus over the course of the whole match. Then we have a good chance of qualifying."
SL Benfica take a slender 1-0 lead to RSC Anderlecht, whose coach Hugo Broos may deploy a three-man attack of Aruna Dindane, Mbo Mpenza and Nenad Jestrovic to overturn that deficit. Broos, who has been holding training behind closed doors, said: "I have something I want to try out, and I cannot have anybody snooping around." However, Jestrovic must fully recover from a heel injury.
In a more comfortable position are last season's runners-up AS Monaco FC and four-time European champions Liverpool FC. Monaco won 3-0 at Slovenian club NK Gorica, but will be below-strength tonight with left-back Patrice Evra suspended, captain Julien Rodriguez still out with a knee injury and new signing Ernesto Chevanton doubtful after hurting his calf.
Liverpool are 2-0 up as they welcome Austrian outfit Grazer AK to Anfield. Right-back Josemi is out for Liverpool with a back injury. Steve Finnan, Salif Diao or Stéphane Henchoz will take his place.
Rosenborg travel to Tel-Aviv to meet Maccabi Haifa FC holding a 2-1 advantage. The Norwegian team are on a high after Saturday's 3-0 win against nearest title challengers Tromsø IL and will field an unchanged side as they aim for their ninth group stage campaign in ten years.
Haifa coach Roni Levi, who has said he will alter his lineup from a fortnight ago, said: "With the support of our fans I think we can do it, but we must not forget that our opponents are a very strong and organised side."
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