Souness seeking success

Graeme Souness will be calling for a strong display from Blackburn Rovers FC as the UEFA Cup resumes with 44 first round second-leg ties.

Blackburn Rovers FC manager Graeme Souness said his team "just didn't perform" when losing 3-1 at Gençlerbirligi SK in their UEFA Cup first round first-leg tie three weeks ago. Tonight's second leg at Ewood Park should be a thrilling game, but Souness will have to do without Lucas Neill, who is recovering from flu. The Turkish side are missing goalkeeper Gökhan Tokgöz, who picked up a shoulder injury in the first leg.

Special training's coverage of the action will include live text commentary of eight ties, including RAA Louviéroise's trip to face SL Benfica, with whom they shared a 1-1 draw last month. La Louvière coach Ariel Jacobs has put four players - Ricardo Magro, Daniel Camus, Davy Cooreman and Rachid Belabedon - on a special training programme in a bid to get them fit and appeared optimistic of the Belgian team's chances. "We know what to expect from Benfica - but we are hopeful of a good result," he said.

Defender returns
Bernd Hollerbach is ready to return to first-team action as Hamburger SV travel to Ukraine to face FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk. The 33-year-old defender's recovery from an achilles injury could boost the German side, who won the first leg 2-1 but will be missing Milan Fukal and Alexander Meier after their respective knee and ankle operations.

Back problem
Former Hamburg player Kevin Keegan, now in charge at Manchester City FC, takes his side to KSC Lokeren OV protecting a 3-2 lead. Lokeren midfield player Davy de Beule is back in training after a back problem but may not be sufficiently match-fit to start at the Daknamstadion.

Barça struggling
Elsewhere, a collection of former European champions are suffering with injuries in the run-up to their second legs. Having drawn 1-1 at ŠKM Púchov, FC Barcelona could be without struggling trio Patrick Kluivert, Ronaldinho and Ricardo Quaresma for the Camp Nou return. FC Steaua Bucuresti have lost Cameroon midfield player Ngassan Falemi to an ankle injury ahead of their tie with Southampton FC, the English side they held 1-1 on their travels last month.

Owen out
Four-times European champions Liverpool FC will be without striker Michael Owen, whose goal rescued a draw against FK Olimpija Ljubjana three weeks ago, while Ahmed Madouni is the latest name on the ever-growing injury list of BV Borussia Dortmund, who play FK Austria Wien tonight having won 2-1 in Vienna. The first round will conclude with four ties on Thursday.