Benfica prepare for Anderlecht test

The UEFA Champions League third qualifying round draw has paired SL Benfica and RSC Anderlecht.

The draw for the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League has thrown up a mouthwatering tie between two of European football's great names - SL Benfica and RSC Anderlecht.

Excellent pedigree
Both clubs have an excellent European pedigree. Benfica were champions of Europe in 1961 and 1962, while Anderlecht won the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1976 and 1978 and the UEFA Cup in 1983. In that latter final their opponents were Benfica, with the Belgian side, featuring current Anderlecht assistant coach Frankie Vercauteren winning 2-1 on aggregate.

Basel excitement
Another tie to capture the imagination is the meeting between Swiss champions FC Basel, who reached the second group stage of this competition in 2002/03, and Italian side FC Internazionale, winners of this competition in 1964 and 1965.

Big names
Perhaps the two biggest names in the draw were English giants Manchester United FC and Spanish titans Real Madrid CF. Sir Alex Ferguson's side will face either Slovakian champions MŠK Žilina or Romanian champions FC Dinamo Bucuresti, while Madrid will start their 2004/05 European campaign away against either Georgia's FC WIT Georgia or Poland's Wisla Kraków.

Match dates
The identity of all the sides in the third qualifying round will be known after the completion of the second qualifying round ties on 4 August. The third qualifying round first legs will take place on 10/11 August with the return legs being played on 24/25 August.

Group stage participants
The winners of the 16 ties will take their place in the Champions League group stage. The 16 clubs already assured of a place in the group stage are FC Porto, Valencia CF, FC Barcelona, AC Milan, AS Roma, Arsenal FC, Chelsea FC, SV Werder Bremen, FC Bayern München, Olympique Lyonnais, Paris Saint-Germain FC, Panathinaikos FC, Olympiacos CFP, AFC Ajax, Celtic FC and Fenerbahçe SK.

UEFA Champions League third qualifying round draw
Team named first play at home in first leg
First leg: 10/11 August 2004
Second leg: 24/25 August 2004
Grazer AK v Liverpool FC
Juventus FC v Djurgårdens IF/FBK Kaunas
KF Tirana/Ferencvárosi TC v APOEL FC/AC Sparta Praha
Rosenborg BK/FC Sheriff v Maccabi Haifa FC
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v FC Baník Ostrava
PFC Neftchi/PFC CSKA Moskva v Rangers FC
FC Pyunik/FC Shakhtar Donetsk v Club Brugge KV/PFC Lokomotiv Plovdiv
FC Dynamo Kyiv v Skonto FC/Trabzonspor
BSC Young Boys/FK Crvena Zvezda v PSV Eindhoven
MŠK Žilina/FC Dinamo Bucuresti v Manchester United FC
FC Basel v FC Internazionale
SL Benfica v RSC Anderlecht
RC Deportivo La Coruña v HNK Hajduk Split/Shelbourne FC
PAOK FC v HJK Helsinki/Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC
NK Gorica/FC København v AS Monaco FC
FC WIT Georgia/Wisla Kraków v Real Madrid CF

 

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