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Barça brimming with confidence

Published: Monday 22 November 2004, 0.59CET
FC Barcelona were one of several sides to prepare for Wednesday's Group E-H fixtures with a domestic victory. features

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Published: Monday 22 November 2004, 0.59CET

Barça brimming with confidence

FC Barcelona were one of several sides to prepare for Wednesday's Group E-H fixtures with a domestic victory. rounds up all the news from UEFA Champions League Groups E-H, which stage Wednesday's fixtures.


Rosenborg BK must defeat Panathinaikos FC to keep alive their hopes of progressing but warmed up with a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Vålerenga IF in the Scandinavian Royal League. Daniel Braaten and Frode Johnsen scored the goals for Rosenborg, who were without Vidar Riseth (groin), Ørjan Berg (knee), Christer Basma (heel), Jan Gunnar Solli (leg) and Robbie Russell (leg). Only Solli and Russell stand any chance of being ready for Wednesday's fixture, to which Panathinaikos travel without Markus Münch (knee) and Dimitris Papadopoulos (ankle). The Greek side defeated Kallithea FC thanks to Mihalis Konstantinou's solitary goal on Saturday.

PSV Eindhoven can qualify from the group stage for the first time in their history provided they fare the same as or better than Panathinaikos when they welcome English champions Arsenal FC to the Netherlands. Phillip Cocu played the 500th game of his career as the Dutch side defeated SBV Vitesse 2-0 on Sunday, a result achieved despite the loss of Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, who departed with a collarbone injury. An x-ray on Monday will determine the extent of his injury but he is a serious doubt for Wednesday's game, as are John de Jong (knee) Kasper Bøgelund (thigh) and Michael Lamey (hamstring). Arsenal, who will progress to the last 16 if they win and Panathinaikos lose in Norway, drew 1-1 at home against Premiership strugglers West Bromwich Albion FC and will travel to Eindhoven without Edu (broken toe) and Gilberto (back).


Goals from Hernán Crespo and Clarence Seedorf helped AC Milan defeat US Città di Palermo 2-1 in the Italian Cup four days ahead of their Champions League tie with FC Shakhtar Donetsk. Andriy Shevchenko was one of several key names rested by Carlo Ancelotti, the Milan coach who knows a point on Wednesday would be enough to seal qualification and leave Shakhtar, who strolled to a 4-0 Ukrainian Cup victory against FC Tavriya Simferopol, with just the UEFA Cup to aim for.

FC Barcelona and Celtic FC both faced their fiercest rivals ahead of their meeting in Camp Nou on Wednesday, with vastly different outcomes. Barça defeated Real Madrid CF 3-0 with first-half goals from Samuel Eto'o, Giovanni van Bronckhorst and a Ronaldinho penalty, but they will be without Henrik Larsson on Wednesday after the Swedish striker injured his knee during the game. Sylvinho, who has been out with a knee injury of his own, returned and could feature again against Celtic, who were reduced to nine men in their 2-0 defeat at Rangers FC. Alan Thompson and Chris Sutton were sent off for Celtic, who have concerns over Didier Agathe's groin injury ahead of their must-win game in Barcelona.


RSC Anderlecht defeated Belgian minnows Bocholt 3-2 at the weekend to advance to the last 16 of their domestic cup competition but only victory at home against Valencia CF will be enough to prevent them slipping out of contention for a UEFA Cup berth. Mbo Mpenza and Nenad Jestrovic are back in training but Wednesday's game may come too soon for the pair, while Martin Kolar (knee), Clayton Zane (knee) and Mark Deman (thigh) are all still out. Valencia won their first game since September on Saturday, defeating Málaga CF 2-0 with goals from Bernardo Corradi and Xisco Muñoz, and will have to win in Belgium and hope Werder Bremen fail to defeat FC Internazionale Milano in the other Group G game if they intend to progress in this competition. Vicente Rodríguez, Valencia's 23-year-old midfield player, will be out for a further three weeks with his ankle injury.

Inter have already qualified and Wednesday's opponents Bremen can be sure of joining them with victory on Wednesday. The German side may have had that game in mind as they slipped to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of SC Arminia Bielefeld on Saturday, a Bundesliga fixture missed by German international Frank Fahrenhorst, whose persistent ankle injury may rule him out this week. Inter can wrap up first place with victory and they warmed up for the task with a 3-1 Italian Cup win against Bologna FC. Christian Vieri, back after a one-month lay-off, scored on his return, while Andy van der Meyde also started after recovering from a muscle problem.


Chelsea FC, already assured of qualifying as group winners, let slip a two-goal lead to draw at home against Bolton Wanderers FC on Saturday but remain top of the Premiership. Damien Duff and Tiago scored the goals for José Mourinho's side, who welcome a Paris Saint-Germain FC side without Jérôme Rothen (ankle) and Danijel Ljuboja (shoulder) to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday. The French club drew 0-0 with Ligue 1 leaders Olympique Lyonnais on Friday, despite having Colombian defender Mario Yepes sent off midway through the first half.

PFC CSKA Moskva, who had no fixture at the weekend, can guarantee their involvement in European competition into the new year by defeating visitors FC Porto in Wednesday's early kick-off. The European champions, who lost 1-0 against Boavista FC on Saturday, will be without a number of players including goalkeeper Vítor Baía for the trip to Moscow. Baía could be out for a month after rupturing a muscle in his left thigh against Boavista, a game Porto lost following the first-half dismissal of striker Benni McCarthy. The keeper joins Raúl Meireles, Nuno Valente and Luís Fabiano on the Porto sick-list, while Carlos Alberto, Hugo Leal and Diego may not return in time for Wednesday's game although the latter has made good progress and travelled to Moscow.

Last updated: 22/11/04 16.31CET

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