Egaleo FC are confident of continuing their good run in Europe against Middlesbrough FC when Group E starts tonight, with S.S. Lazio and Villarreal CF contesting the section's other fixture of the evening.
Egaleo are unbeaten in their domestic league and coach Stefan Demol is not worried about the absence of injured forwards Anastasios Agritis and Günter Friesenbichler against the English visitors. "We will play to win, that is our motto," he said. "We have nothing to lose."
Middlesbrough travel with Australia striker Mark Viduka after he recovered from a back injury, but are without Joseph-Désiré Job (hamstring) and Franck Queudrue (suspended). "We can be a big threat in Europe," said Viduka. Forward Malcolm Christie and defender Michael Reiziger are long-term absentees with Stuart Parnaby and Anthony McMahon set to retain the full-back positions.
Villarreal have had a difficult time before the trip to Lazio. Sonny Anderson moved to Qatari football, fellow striker José Mari Romero suffered a stomach upset and midfielder Marcos Senna was provisionally suspended after testing positive for a banned substance. The inexperienced José María Cases, 17, could get a chance up front. Left-back Rodolfo Arruabarrena is out with a thigh problem but Roger García is back from a knee injury. Goalkeeper José Manuel Reina is wary of the Lazio threat, claiming: "It's important that we keep possession of the ball."
The Italian side have had problems of their own but coach Domenico Caso is upbeat. "I think this match has come at the best time for us because we are eager to show what we can do," he said. Lazio could field Macedonian forward Goran Pandev alongside Simone Inzaghi while Fernando Couto, who has a back problem, could make way for Paolo Negro.
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