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Inter left to fly Italian flag

Published: Thursday 8 April 2004, 7.25CET
Italy's FC Internazionale are among the eight remaining clubs in UEFA Cup action tonight.
Published: Thursday 8 April 2004, 7.25CET

Inter left to fly Italian flag

Italy's FC Internazionale are among the eight remaining clubs in UEFA Cup action tonight.

With barely a moment to pause for breath after an astonishing two evenings of UEFA Champions League action, the UEFA Cup quarter-finals begin tonight with four balanced-looking ties.

Intriguing mixture
The last eight offers an intriguing mixture of clubs, countries and personalities, as well as two teams who have previously won the competition. One of the two, FC Internazionale, who have lifted the trophy on three occasions, travel to Olympique de Marseille for tonight's first leg as Italy's sole remaining representatives in European competition this season.

Surprise package
Meanwhile, last season's UEFA Cup runners-up, Celtic FC, welcome the competition's surprise package, UEFA Intertoto Cup winners Villarreal CF. The Scottish side accounted for FC Barcelona in the last 16 and are on a 76-game unbeaten home run. Villarreal cannot be underestimated, though, having already knocked out Galatasaray SK and AS Roma.

Valencia ambition
Valencia CF, chasing Real Madrid CF hard at the top of the Primera División, are seeking to become the first Spanish winners of the UEFA Cup since 1986. To achieve that ambition they must first get past FC Girondins de Bordeaux. The French side are at home tonight and know that the UEFA Cup offers their only realistic route back into Europe next year.

Emotional scene
The Philips stadium will witness a reunion as Newcastle United FC manager Sir Bobby Robson visits one of his former clubs, PSV Eindhoven. There will be little room for sentiment, however, as both clubs have had disappointing domestic campaigns and are keen to atone with European success. Newcastle's last trophy was the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, the forerunner of this competition, fully 35 years ago.

Live coverage
You can follow all of tonight's UEFA Cup action live on, with minute-by-minute text coverage and in-depth analysis on the panel show. Stay online at the final whistle for reports, photos and post-match reaction.

Last updated: 08/04/04 23.26CET

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