FC København coach Ariël Jacobs is looking forward to the challenge of taking on LOSC Lille, a team with "Champions League quality", in the first leg of their play-off tie.
Having overseen the elimination of Club Brugge KV in the previous round, the man who guided RSC Anderlecht to the Belgian title last season is now plotting the downfall of the Ligue 1 side, whom he acknowledges are favourites for an immediate return to the group stage.
Jacobs could be without centre-back Sölvi Ottesen, who scored the decisive goal for FCK at this juncture of the competition in 2010/11 against Rosenborg BK, although goalkeeper Johan Wiland is expected to overcome the thigh problem which caused him to miss the weekend draw with Brøndby IF.
"They are a club with a good philosophy and were rewarded with the French championship two seasons ago," said Jacobs, whose unbeaten charges are two points clear at the Superligaen summit after six games. "I have followed them rather closely and they are a technical and tactical team with a lot of pace."
Jacob knows the visit of Les Dogues represents a step up in class. "The difference between Club Brugge and Lille is that Brugge, like ourselves, are bobbing between the Champions League and Europa League, whereas I see Lille as a team with definite Champions League quality.
Lille have an advantage in most areas compared to us, but we were not favourites in the last round."
Rudi Garcia's LOSC also warmed up for the first leg with a draw, 1-1 against AS Nancy-Lorraine in their first Ligue 1 fixture at the new Grand Stade Lille Métropole, a game in which Salomon Kalou scored his first goal for the club.
"The depth of the squad is very important because we have a lot of matches right now," said Garcia, who has fitness concerns over defenders Mathieu Debuchy (heel) and Marko Baša (adductor). "We played on Friday, only 48 hours after some of the players had participated for their national teams, so we might decide to rotate.
"However, it is better to be able to play 25 games at the highest tempo than 50 at a more average [pace]. We are not in Copenhagen for a goalless draw. We would like to keep a clean sheet, but we also want to score."
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