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Meet the third qualifying round entrants

UEFA.com profiles the 13 contenders entering the UEFA Champions League at the third qualifying round stage, including three domestic champions and a four-time European Cup winner.

Third qualifying round entrants ©AFP/Getty Images

Ajax (NED)
Coach: Frank de Boer
Star men: Anwar El Ghazi, Davy Klaassen, Arkadiusz Milik
Key summer signing: John Heitinga
Strengths: passing game, wing play, pedigree
Possible weaknesses: no direct style, lack of decisive firepower
How they qualified: Eredivisie runners-up
What they say: "We are ready to face Rapid." Frank de Boer

FC Basel (SUI)
Coach: Urs Fischer
Star men: Shkelzen Gashi, Tomás Vaclík, Breel Embolo
Key summer signing: Zdravko Kuzmanović
Strengths: European experience, never-say-die attitude
Possible weaknesses: loss of key talent, coach-player relationship yet to be tested
How they qualified: Swiss champions
What they say: "I knew about the pressure at Basel, about having to reach the group stage. But someone I value a lot has always said: 'Humans grow by overcoming resistance.'" Urs Fischer

Club Brugge (BEL)
Coach: Michel Preud'homme
Star men: Lior Refaelov, Víctor Vázquez, Timmy Simons
Key summer signing: Hans Vanaken
Strengths: organisation, counterattacking, experience
Possible weaknesses: lack of initiative, not clinical enough
How they qualified: Belgian First League runners-up
What they say: "With everyone fit, we are stronger than last year." Michel Preud'homme

CSKA Moskva (RUS)
Coach: Leonid Slutski
Star men: Zoran Tošić, Roman Eremenko, Akhmed Musa
Key summer signing: none
Strengths: cohesion, common understanding, European experience
Possible weaknesses: no prolific striker, lack of depth, ageing defence
How they qualified: Russian Premier League runners-up
What they say: "The board have never told us we have to be top – but it is implied." Leonid Slutski

Fenerbahçe (TUR)
Vítor Pereira
Star men: Robin van Persie, Nani, Moussa Sow
Key summer signing: Robin van Persie
Strengths: firepower, attacking philosophy, home crowd
Possible weaknesses: lack of midfield depth, sometimes lack tempo, vulnerable on the counter
How they qualified: Turkish Super League runners-up
What they say: "I live the matches in my head in an intense way as if I am the one playing on the field." Vitor Pereira

Getting to know Bernardo Silva

AS Monaco (FRA)
Coach: Leonardo Jardim
Star men: Ricardo Carvalho, João Moutinho, Laywin Kurzawa
Key summer signing: Stephan El Shaarawy
Strengths: defence, work-rate, killer pass
Possible weaknesses: key departures, no more surprise factor
How they qualified: third in Ligue 1
What they say: "I think we'll be ready for YB; we've worked well so far." Anthony Martial

Panathinaikos (GRE)
Coach: Giannis Anastasiou
Star men: Marcus Berg, Danijel Pranjić, Sotiris Ninis
Key summer signing: Michael Essien
Strengths: Nicos Karelis-Berg axis in attack, possession football
Possible weaknesses: vulnerable in defence, potentially poor communication
How they qualified: Greek Super League runners-up
What they say: "We have a good team and considerable potential. If we cut down on the number of errors, we will do well." Giannis Anastasiou

Viktoria Plzeň (CZE)
Miroslav Koubek
Star men: Daniel Kolář, David Limberský, Matúš Kozáčik
Key summer signing: Jan Kopic
Strengths: teamwork, stability, set pieces, endurance
Possible weaknesses: how to replace the recently retired Pavel Horváth?
How they qualified: Czech First League champions
What they say: "We are going to work with the experienced base of the squad that won the league." Miroslav Koubek

Rapid Wien (AUT)
Coach: Zoran Barisic
Star men: Steffen Hofmann, Robert Berić, Philipp Schobesberger
Key summer signing: Stefan Nutz
Strengths: team spirit, euphoria
Possible weaknesses: lack of international experience
How they qualified: Austrian Bundesliga runners-up
What they say: "My team is ready to take the next step. Our expectations have grown." Zoran Barisic

Salzburg (AUT)
Coach: Peter Zeidler
Star men: Jonatan Soriano, Martin Hinteregger, Naby Keita
Key summer signing: Reinhold Yabo
Strengths: counterattacking, pace
Possible weaknesses: defence, lack of consistency
How they qualified: Austrian Bundesliga champion
What they say: "We don't look too far ahead. First we look at the league, only then do we focus on Europe." Peter Zeidler

Five great Shakhtar wins

Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)
Mircea Lucescu
Star men: Alex Teixeira, Darijo Srna, Fred
Key summer signing: Maksym Malyshev
Strengths: counterattacking, technical skills, adaptability of the players
Possible weaknesses: switching from attack to defence, concentration lapses
How they qualified: Ukrainian Premier League runners-up
What they say: "Our strength is in our discipline and physical fitness." Mircea Lucescu

Sparta Praha (CZE)
Coach: Zdeněk Ščasný
Star men: Bořek Dočkal, Marek Matějovský, David Lafata
Key summer signing: Martin Frýdek
Strengths: on the flanks, Lafata's firepower, midfield creativity, set pieces
Possible weaknesses: still adapting to a new tactical system
How they qualified: Czech First League runners-up
What they say: "The team has been well reinforced so there is competition in the squad." Zdeněk Ščasný

Young Boys (SUI)
Coach: Uli Forte
Star men: Renato Steffen, Sekou Sanogo, Miralem Sulejmani
Key summer signing: Miralem Sulejmani
Strengths: energy, desire
Possible weaknesses: lack of experience at highest level, lack of squad depth
How they qualified: Swiss Super League runners-up
What they say: "To me, Monaco were the strongest possible opponent. Now my players can show what they are capable of." Uli Forte

Compiled by UEFA.com reporters and correspondents