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Final hurdle before group stage

Published: Thursday 24 July 2003, 8.22CET
A further four winners of the European Champion Clubs' Cup enter the fray in Friday's UEFA Champions League third qualifying round draw.

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Published: Thursday 24 July 2003, 8.22CET

Final hurdle before group stage

A further four winners of the European Champion Clubs' Cup enter the fray in Friday's UEFA Champions League third qualifying round draw.
A further four winners of the European Champion Clubs' Cup enter the fray on Friday when the draw for the third and final UEFA Champions League qualifying round is made at UEFA's headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.

Strong lineup
Among the 18 entrants at this stage are four-times winners AFC Ajax, BV Borussia Dortmund, Olympique de Marseille and SL Benfica. Newcastle United FC, PFC Lokomotiv Moskva and RC Deportivo La Coruña are also involved, and no doubt keen for more success after reaching the second group stage last season. In 2003/04, the competition proper will go straight to a 16-team knockout phase following the conclusion of the 32-team group stage on 10 December.

Wider interest
Also involved in the third qualifying round draw - to be made at 12.00CET at the House of European Football - will be the 28 sides yet to play in the second qualifying round. Among those teams are Celtic FC, European Champion Clubs' Cup winners in 1967 and UEFA Cup finalists last season. The 14 winners of those ties will join the aforementioned 18 clubs in the third qualifying round, which will take begin on 12/13 August, with the return legs following a fortnight later.

First team at home
The draw itself will see a seeded and non-seeded ball taken from their respective pots and then shuffled in an empty bowl. The first team drawn from these two will be the home side for the first leg. The two winners of the second qualifying round ties involving Celtic and RSC Anderlecht are seeded because of the high individual club coefficient of the two teams in question.

Compatriots kept apart
Teams from the same country cannot play each other, and if drawn together, the club chosen second will be moved to the next match. If a clash occurs between the last two drawn, then the one taken second will be switched with the corresponding seeded or non-seeded team in Match 1

Knockout phase
Clubs which successfully negotiate the third qualifying round will advance to the group stage, where eight more former winners lie in wait. Two of those, AC Milan and Juventus FC, contested last season's final at Old Trafford, with the men from Milan coming out on top in a penalty shoot-out after a goalless draw. The Arena Aufschalke in Gelsenkirchen has the honour of staging the 2003/04 final on 26 May.

Pos UEFA Champions League
Third qualifying round (seeds)
IOC Coeff.*
1 S.S. Lazio ITA 106.155
2 RC Deportivo La Coruña ESP 98.769
3 RC Celta de Vigo ESP 86.769
4 Galatasaray SK TUR 78.495
5 BV Borussia Dortmund GER 70.566
6 Chelsea FC ENG 70.170
7 Celtic FC/FBK Kaunas SCO/LIT 57.187
8 AEK Athens FC GRE 56.391
9 FC Dynamo Kyiv UKR 55.291
10 AFC Ajax HOL 54.749
11 Newcastle United FC ENG 51.170
12 Rangers FC SCO 50.187
13 AC Sparta Praha CZE 49.975
14 Olympique de Marseille FRA 49.734
15 FC Lokomotiv Moskva RUS 49.520
16 RSC Anderlecht/Rapid Bucuresti BEL/ROM 49.250

Pos UEFA Champions League
Third qualifying round (non-seeds)
IOC Coeff.*
17 SK Slavia Praha/FK Leotar CZE/BHZ 48.975
18 Club Brugge KV BEL 44.250
19 Rosenborg BK/Bohemian FC NOR/IRE 42.787
20 Wisla Kraków/Omonia AC POL/CYP 33.812
21 Grasshopper-Club SUI 33.125
22 NK Dinamo Zagreb/NK Maribor CRO/SLO 32.312
23 SL Benfica POR 30.791
24 Grazer AK/KF Tirana AUT/ALB 26.687
25 FC Shakhtar Donetsk/FC Sheriff UKR/MOL 22.291
26 FK Partizan/Djurgårdens IF YUG/SW 20.915
27 FC København/Sliema Wanderers FC DEN/MLT 20.687
28 Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC/MŠK Zilina ISR/SVK 18.999
29 PFC CSKA Sofia/FC Pyunik BUL/ARM 18.332
30 FK Austria Wien AUT 13.687
31 MTK Hungária FC/HJK Helsinki HUN/FIN 13.395
32 PFC CSKA Moskva/FK Vardar RUS/MKD 12.520

* where two teams are given, the coefficient corresponds to the team with the higher ranking
Last updated: 25/07/03 12.23CET

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