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.

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)
Coach:
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
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)
Coach:
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
Five great Shakhtar wins

Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)
Coach:
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

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