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High hopes for Juve and Lyon

Published: Wednesday 3 November 2004, 4.41CET
Juventus FC and Olympique Lyonnais are the only two teams in action who can reach the first knockout round on Wednesday.
Published: Wednesday 3 November 2004, 4.41CET

High hopes for Juve and Lyon

Juventus FC and Olympique Lyonnais are the only two teams in action who can reach the first knockout round on Wednesday.

Juventus FC and Olympique Lyonnais are the only two of the 16 teams in action tonight who can join Chelsea FC and FC Internazionale Milano in the first knockout round.

Buffon upbeat
Juve will go through if they win their Group C fixture at FC Bayern München and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is in confident mood. "We might be more of a concrete team than a spectacular side but it is the results that count. I am convinced we can win the Champions League," he said. A draw will be enough if AFC Ajax lose at a Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC side that must not lose if they are to have a chance of progressing.

French favourites
Lyon can seal their qualification from Group D if they win at home against Fenerbahçe SK and bottom club AC Sparta Praha fail to beat second-placed Manchester United FC. Should results pan out that way, Sparta will be out of the competition and have only the prospect of a UEFA Cup place to play for.

Even section
Group B is especially even, with three teams level on six points. Real Madrid CF can take great strides forward with an away win against current leaders FC Dynamo Kyiv as it would give them a better head-to-head record, which can be decisive when teams finish on the same points. In the other match, AS Roma must get a result at home against Bayer 04 Leverkusen or see an early end to their Champions League ambitions.

All open
Last season's semi-finalists RC Deportivo La Coruña may be bottom of Group A but they could yet finish top. Deportivo welcome Liverpool FC and can leapfrog their rivals with a home win. If AS Monaco FC are also home winners against Olympiacos CFP, then Deportivo could finish the night in second spot although nothing is likely to be decided before the final matchday.

Last updated: 03/11/04 21.43CET

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