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Rivals find their form

Published: Monday 18 October 2004, 0.55CET
Matchday 3 opponents Liverpool FC and RC Deportivo La Coruña were both celebrating on Saturday. features

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Published: Monday 18 October 2004, 0.55CET

Rivals find their form

Matchday 3 opponents Liverpool FC and RC Deportivo La Coruña were both celebrating on Saturday.
It was back to domestic action for many UEFA Champions League teams on Saturday, as brings you the latest squad news for sides in Groups A-D.

Group A

Liverpool FC came from two goals down to beat Fulham FC 4-2 at Craven Cottage. Steve Finnan (stomach) and Harry Kewell (ankle) are doubtful for the visit of RC Deportivo La Coruña. Steven Gerrard is definitely out with a broken foot and Vladimír Šmicer and Antonio Núñez are sidelined with knee injuries. Deportivo scored their first home win in Spain, beating Getafe CF 2-1. The game marked the return of striker Diego Tristán, absent since the season started, while midfielder Mauro Silva is fit again after a calf tear. Enrique Romero and Lionel Scaloni were both rested by Javier Irureta.

AS Monaco FC led against FC Metz today only to be held 1-1 and are fourth in Ligue 1, four points behind joint-leaders Olympique Lyonnais and LOSC Lille Métropole. Didier Deschamps rested Javier Saviola ahead of Tuesday's match with Olympiacos CFP, but will be concerned that Patrice Evra limped off the pitch clutching an ankle. Olympiacos CFP, who visit Monaco, won 2-0 at home to lowly Ergotelis FC to move to within a point of Greek title-holders Panathinaikos FC. Olympiacos coach Dusan Bajevic, who rested Ioannis Okkas at the weekend, revealed Predrag Djordjevic will not be fit to face Monaco.

Group B

Bayer 04 Leverkusen have Hanno Balitsch back from injury for their Champions League match against AS Roma. The midfielder has recovered from knee surgery and came on as a substitute in the 3-1 defeat by Hertha BSC Berlin. Elsewhere, Radoslaw Kaluzny is doubtful after suffering a head injury while on international duty with Poland. Roma won 2-0 at AS Livorno Calcio. Midfield player Daniele De Rossi missed the game with a slight thigh injury but should be fit on Tuesday, unlike goalkeeper Ivan Pelizzoli and Olivier Dacourt. Cristian Chivu has almost recovered from a foot problem.

Real Madrid CF coach Mariano García Remón saw his side held 1-1 by Real Betis Balompié, Ronaldo scoring a second-half equaliser. García Remón brought on youth team starlet Javier Arbeloa who replaced centre-back Álvaro Mejía to make his first-team debut after an hour of the game had passed. Currently out are David Beckham with a cracked rib and Jonathan Woodgate with a thigh muscle tear are ruled out while Míchel Salgado has been resting after taking a knock whilst on international duty. Santiago Solari has made a full recovery from his knee injury and is fit to play FC Dynamo Kyiv, for who Maris Verpakovskis scored twice in the final two minutes of the first half as they won 2-1 at FC Volyn Lutsk to reach the last four of the Ukrainian Cup.

Group C

AFC Ajax suffered a surprising 3-1 defeat at the Amsterdam ArenA against SC Heerenveen, the visitors' first victory at the stadium, but defender Hatem Trabelsi returned to the team after an absence of almost eight months. Rafael van der Vaart missed the game after sustaining a leg injury playing for the Netherlands against Finland last week. Attacker Mauro Rosales is on the injury list but goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg hopes to return this week to meet Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC, who were held to a 1-1 draw by bottom of the table Hapoel Nazereth FC. Liran Cohen has recovered from an ankle injury and is fit to travel to Amsterdam. Brazilian defender Marcio Giovanini played with a face mask at the weekend to protect a broken nose and should also figure in coach Nir Klinger's plans.

Juventus FC extended their lead in Serie A by beating second-placed FC Messina Peloro 2-1. David Trezeguet was absent and will undergo shoulder surgery on Tuesday. Alessandro Del Piero is recovering from an achilles tendon injury but could be fit for the game against FC Bayern München. Bayern are suffering from a lack of strikers with long-term lay-offs Alexander Zickler and Roque Santa Cruz a long way from returning and were joined on the injury list by Claudio Pizarro and Vahid Hashemian this week. Pizarro is suffering from a back injury, while Hashemian has picked up an ankle problem.

Group D

Fenerbahçe SK secured a valuable 1-0 away win against in-form Gaziantepspor thanks to a powerful shot inside the penalty area from Netherlands striker Pierre van Hooijdonk. The team were without Brazilian playmaker Alex, who missed his flight to Turkey from his homeland after international duty. Their visitors on Tuesday, Olympique Lyonnais, took over as Ligue 1 leaders following a 4-0 win against SM Caen on Friday. Midfield playmaker Juninho Pernambucano is doubtful after picking up an ankle injury playing for Brazil, but Sylvain Wiltord will return after being rested.

AC Sparta Praha extended their lead in the Czech Republic defeating city rivals SK Slavia Praha. Jirí Homola scored with a header in the 63rd minute and added the second goal four minutes later from close range. Slavia's Karel Piták missed a penalty 14 minutes before the end. Sparta welcome Manchester United FC, who dropped more English Premiership points in their 0-0 draw with Birmingham City FC, for which Wayne Rooney was used as substitute. Ryan Giggs is struggling through illness while Ole Gunnar Solskjær is out with a long-term knee problem.

Last updated: 18/10/04 14.46CET

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