Preview: Wednesday's Champions League play-offs

BATE Borisov, Lazio, Manchester United, Sporting CP and, seeking to be the first Kazakhstani club to reach the group stage, Astana hold leads going into Wednesday's second legs.

Sporting hold a slender lead over CSKA Moskva
Sporting hold a slender lead over CSKA Moskva ©AFP/Getty Images

Club Brugge (1-3) Manchester United

Michel Preud'homme, Club Brugge coach
[Miracles] happen sometimes, but this would be a great miracle because you know the situation – they are two goals up and they have a very professional team that can decide a match at a stroke, at any moment. We also have some personnel problems, those players that were already out of the first leg, and now after the game at Old Trafford we are without Timmy Simons and Brandon Mechele. That is a lot of players missing, but we have to do our job, to believe in it and to try, because trying in sport and doing your best is a big part.

Louis van Gaal, Manchester United manager
I don't think my players will take it easy. Our preparations have been the same and I don't think they [Club Brugge] will start differently to last week. It [Fellaini's late first-leg goal] was very important because now we can start this game with more confidence, but, as you know, we should have finished it off much earlier.

Bayer Leverkusen (0-1) Lazio

  • Keita came off the bench to give Lazio the edge in their debut play-off tie.
  • Leverkusen have lost Charles Aránguiz to an Achilles tear; Lazio are without injured goalkeeper Federico Marchetti, Miroslav Klose, Filip Djordjević and Lucas Biglia.

Roger Schmidt, Leverkusen coach
The first-leg result always influences your opponents' tactics, but losing the first match isn't so dramatic. Lazio counter very well and have a lot of fast players in attack. They will try to play to their strengths. We are positive and using our strengths might be the best path to success.

Keita celebrates his goal in the first leg
Keita celebrates his goal in the first leg©AFP/Getty Images

Stefano Pioli, Lazio coach
We are not in the group stage yet. On the one hand, we have to be focused; on the other, we have to play our own game. My players should be confident. The spirit we have shown so far has to endure for another 90 minutes. I must pay a big compliment to the 2,000 travelling fans from Rome. They will make us stronger, but we must not forget that supporters alone cannot take us into the next round – it's up to us.

CSKA Moskva (1-2) Sporting CP

  • Islam Slimani hit the first-leg winner as Sporting gained belated revenge for their home 2005 UEFA Cup final defeat by CSKA.
  • CSKA have not won in six European home games, but Sporting are missing left-back Jefferson, who suffered a thigh injury in Saturday's 1-1 league draw with Paços de Ferreira.

Leonid Slutski, CSKA coach
That we have played more matches this season than Sporting will give us a competitive edge. A week ago this was not the case, but I think it will be now. Sporting are a strong team and they have the advantage, but one goal will dramatically change the whole tie. It is a precarious lead.

Jorge Jesus, Sporting coach
We have the advantage after our 2-1 home win, but if CSKA score it will change the tie. Both teams have an equal chance [of progressing]. We have both played in the league since the first leg, so, physically, we are just as ready as our opponents. CSKA are not only about [Seydou] Doumbia – they also have [Ahmed] Musa and [Zoran] Tošić. They will attack and we will try to, too.

Paritzan (0-1) BATE Borisov

Filip Mladenović (right), one of BATE's Serbian players
Filip Mladenović (right), one of BATE's Serbian players©AFP/Getty Images

Zoran Milinković, Partizan coach
The most important thing, for us, is that we do not have any problems with our players – all of them are healthy and ready. Of course, we need to mention the suspension of Jevtović. The memories are still fresh from the match with Steaua [a 4-2 third qualifying round second-leg win]. It was not that long ago and we, in a way, still carry it in our hearts and hope to repeat it tomorrow.

Aleksandr Ermakovich, BATE coach
The fact that they [BATE's Serbians, Filip Mladenović and Nemanja Milunović] are in the starting XI speaks for itself – they are really good players. A 1-0 lead is not a really big advantage. Just a small detail could change the course of the match and decide the outcome. Both teams will attack tomorrow and we will see what happens.

APOEL (0-1) Astana

  • Astana are on course to become the first Kazakhstani team to qualify for the group stage thanks to Baurzhan Dzholchiyev's goal last Tuesday.
  • APOEL's last European home win was six games ago, 4-0 against Aalborg in last season's play-offs.

Domingos Paciência, APOEL coach
Everyone involved with APOEL, from the fans to the players, wants to be in the Champions League. We know Astana have a certain way of playing away from home. We have been preparing accordingly, but we need to be stronger than we were in the first leg if we want to win. The first 15 minutes of our performance in Kazakhstan was poor, but then we improved. The only player who is out is [George] Efrem.

Stanimir Stoilov, Astana coach
If required, we will play defensively for 90 minutes or play an attacking game for 90 minutes. I am aware of what kind of support the APOEL fans give. They will get extra strength and motivation from their supporters, but my players will enjoy the occasion. Whatever team is most disciplined will win, but I do believe APOEL are the favourites.

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