|Spartak Moskva||Dynamo Kyiv|
|Shakhtar Donetsk||Dinamo Zagreb|
Having to face last season's UEFA Champions League quarter-finalists Fenerbahçe SK would have been tough enough for FK Partizan had they not been without seven squad members for the first leg of their third qualifying round tie in Belgrade.
Almani Moreira is suspended, fellow midfielders Ljubomir Fejsa and Zoran Tošić are at the Olympics while winger Juca, Kamel Zaiem and defenders Marko Jokanović and Aleksandar Lazevski are also out. But the Serbian champions were also underdogs when they took on Newcastle United FC five years ago, and recovered from losing the home first leg 1-0 to prevail on penalties, so coach Slaviša Jokanović is staying upbeat. "Baron Pierre de Coubertin's slogan 'The important thing in life is not to triumph but to compete' is not on our minds," Jokanović said. "The result is the most important thing for us.
"We want to ensure we have chances of reaching the group stage after the match in Istanbul. That's our only objective. I'm optimistic and sure my players share that optimism. We'll have great support from the stands and I believe our army of fans will have a reason to celebrate. I utterly respect our opponents – we are talking about a number of great individuals trained by a top-class European coach, but those facts are not influencing our ambition and desire to make it to the European football élite."
That top-class coach is of course Luis Aragonés, who after leading Spain to UEFA EURO 2008™ victory succeeded Zico at Fenerbahçe. He will make his competitive debut in his new role in Belgrade and is not taking the challenge of Partizan lightly. "I tell my players to target a decisive victory before every game. It will not be any different tomorrow," he said on the eve of the game, also revealing his desire to improve on last season's effort of reach the quarter-final – Fenerbahçe's best ever performance in the competition. "We have analysed Partizan. They have good experience in European club competition and must be respected," continued Aragonés, who will be without injured trio Deivid (foot), Gökçek Vederson (knee) and Tümer Metin (groin).
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