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Duo aiming to join Newcastle

Published: Wednesday 1 December 2004, 12.57CET
Group D: Sporting Clube de Portugal and FC Sochaux-Montbéliard meet in Lisbon - and both could progress.
Published: Wednesday 1 December 2004, 12.57CET

Duo aiming to join Newcastle

Group D: Sporting Clube de Portugal and FC Sochaux-Montbéliard meet in Lisbon - and both could progress.

Sporting Clube de Portugal and FC Sochaux-Montbéliard are aiming to join Newcastle United FC in progressing from UEFA Cup Group D on Wednesday - but Panionios NFC and FC Dinamo Tbilisi are just hoping to keep their campaigns alive.

One point away
One point at home against Sochaux would take Sporting into the round of 32 following victories in their opening matches against Panionios and Dinamo. Carlos Martins and Mauricio Pinilla are out after suffering injuries in the weekend's 4-1 home defeat of Moreirense FC, and midfield duo Hugo Viana and Tinga are also out, but Anderson Polga hopes to be fit.

Sochaux slips
Sochaux, meanwhile, will be through with a win if Panionios fail to beat Dinamo in Athens, while a draw will suffice should the Greek team lose. A 4-0 reverse against Newcastle last Thursday and 2-1 defeat by RC Lens at the weekend, both at home, ended their eleven-match unbeaten run, but chairman Jean-Claude Plessis insisted these defeats were "not a drama". Attacking midfielder Wilson Oruma has an adductor injury and is out along with Marcelo Trapasso and Sylvain Monsoreau, but Johann Lonfat's sprained knee has healed.

Panionios hope
Neither Panionios nor Dinamo have a point as yet, with the Georgian side knowing only victory in this, their final fixture, will keep them in the running. Panionios must win - or hope Sochaux do not - to retain any hope of progressing, but they miss the injured Mico Smiljanic and Saša Zimonjic. Playmaker Juan Martín Parodi and striker Mário Breška will be rested by coach Georgios Vazakas, who nevertheless said: "A win is imperative."

Last chance
Captain Georgi Nemsadze is still sidelined for Dinamo, while Kakhaber Aladashvili is serving a six-month ban for misconduct. Youngsters George Kutsurua, Kakhi Makharadze and Jaba Dvali should get their chance as coach George Geguchadze makes changes following the 4-0 loss to Sporting.

Last updated: 01/12/04 14.48CET

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