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Group-stage hopefuls face fate

Published: Tuesday 21 July 2009, 3.09CET
A chance to meet Olympiacos CFP in the next phase will spur on ŠK Slovan Bratislava and NK Zrinjski, with shocks in the offing as the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round ends this week.
Group-stage hopefuls face fate
Zrinjski and Slovan are battling for a tie against Olympiacos ©Fedja Krvavac
 

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Published: Tuesday 21 July 2009, 3.09CET

Group-stage hopefuls face fate

A chance to meet Olympiacos CFP in the next phase will spur on ŠK Slovan Bratislava and NK Zrinjski, with shocks in the offing as the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round ends this week.

The prospect of a meeting with Olympiacos CFP will keep ŠK Slovan Bratislava and NK Zrinjski on their toes, with shocks in the offing as the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round concludes.

Bratislava tie
Bosnian champions Zrinjski celebrated their first home win in UEFA Champions League qualifying last week, with Krešimir Kordić scoring the only goal in their win against Slovan. However, the Slovakian side have home advantage as the tie concludes on Tuesday, and will be eager to win through and earn a meeting with Greek titleholders Olympiacos, one of three sides who will join the existing Champions Path hopefuls in the next round.

Close call
The situation will be even more tense at the Ljudski vrt Stadium in Slovenia where NK Maribor host FC WIT Georgia after a 0-0 draw in the first leg, with the eventual winners meeting FC Zürich in the next phase of the competition. Things are a little easier for Moldova's FC Sheriff, who won 1-0 at FC International Turku last week and need only avoid defeat to link up with SK Slavia Praha in the next round.

Easy openers
The five former group-stage contenders on duty in the second qualifying round – FC BATE Borisov, PFC Levski Sofia, FC København, FK Partizan and Maccabi Haifa FC – all won comfortably last week and can be reasonably confident of progressing, but the same cannot be said of Austria's FC Salzburg or Wisła Kraków of Poland.

Favourites struggling
Austrian champions Salzburg drew 1-1 at home against Ireland's Bohemian FC last week and can expect a tough ride in Dublin. It took an added-time goal, meanwhile, for Wisła to snatch a similar scoreline at home against FC Levadia Tallinn, and – like Salzburg – they now need an away win or a high-scoring draw on Wednesday to forge on in the competition.

 

Last updated: 22/07/09 10.12CET

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