Final hurdle before group stage

A further four winners of the European Champion Clubs' Cup enter the fray in Friday's UEFA Champions League third qualifying round draw.

Strong lineup
Among the 18 entrants at this stage are four-times winners AFC Ajax, BV Borussia Dortmund, Olympique de Marseille and SL Benfica. Newcastle United FC, PFC Lokomotiv Moskva and RC Deportivo La Coruña are also involved, and no doubt keen for more success after reaching the second group stage last season. In 2003/04, the competition proper will go straight to a 16-team knockout phase following the conclusion of the 32-team group stage on 10 December.

Wider interest
Also involved in the third qualifying round draw - to be made at 12.00CET at the House of European Football - will be the 28 sides yet to play in the second qualifying round. Among those teams are Celtic FC, European Champion Clubs' Cup winners in 1967 and UEFA Cup finalists last season. The 14 winners of those ties will join the aforementioned 18 clubs in the third qualifying round, which will take begin on 12/13 August, with the return legs following a fortnight later.

First team at home
The draw itself will see a seeded and non-seeded ball taken from their respective pots and then shuffled in an empty bowl. The first team drawn from these two will be the home side for the first leg. The two winners of the second qualifying round ties involving Celtic and RSC Anderlecht are seeded because of the high individual club coefficient of the two teams in question.

Compatriots kept apart
Teams from the same country cannot play each other, and if drawn together, the club chosen second will be moved to the next match. If a clash occurs between the last two drawn, then the one taken second will be switched with the corresponding seeded or non-seeded team in Match 1

Knockout phase
Clubs which successfully negotiate the third qualifying round will advance to the group stage, where eight more former winners lie in wait. Two of those, AC Milan and Juventus FC, contested last season's final at Old Trafford, with the men from Milan coming out on top in a penalty shoot-out after a goalless draw. The Arena Aufschalke in Gelsenkirchen has the honour of staging the 2003/04 final on 26 May.

PosUEFA Champions League
Third qualifying round (seeds)
1S.S. Lazio ITA106.155
2RC Deportivo La Coruña ESP98.769
3RC Celta de VigoESP86.769
4Galatasaray SKTUR78.495
5BV Borussia DortmundGER70.566
6Chelsea FCENG70.170
7Celtic FC/FBK KaunasSCO/LIT57.187
8AEK Athens FCGRE56.391
9FC Dynamo KyivUKR55.291
10AFC AjaxHOL54.749
11Newcastle United FCENG51.170
12Rangers FC SCO50.187
13AC Sparta PrahaCZE49.975
14Olympique de MarseilleFRA49.734
15FC Lokomotiv MoskvaRUS49.520
16RSC Anderlecht/Rapid BucurestiBEL/ROM49.250

PosUEFA Champions League
Third qualifying round (non-seeds)
17SK Slavia Praha/FK LeotarCZE/BHZ48.975
18Club Brugge KVBEL44.250
19Rosenborg BK/Bohemian FCNOR/IRE42.787
20Wisla Kraków/Omonia ACPOL/CYP33.812
22NK Dinamo Zagreb/NK MariborCRO/SLO32.312
23SL BenficaPOR30.791
24Grazer AK/KF TiranaAUT/ALB26.687
25FC Shakhtar Donetsk/FC SheriffUKR/MOL22.291
26FK Partizan/Djurgårdens IFYUG/SW20.915
27FC København/Sliema Wanderers FCDEN/MLT20.687
28Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC/MŠK ZilinaISR/SVK18.999
29PFC CSKA Sofia/FC PyunikBUL/ARM18.332
30FK Austria WienAUT13.687
31MTK Hungária FC/HJK HelsinkiHUN/FIN13.395
32PFC CSKA Moskva/FK VardarRUS/MKD12.520