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Inter feel heat as last 16 beckons

FC Internazionale are one of several clubs feeling the pressure ahead of UEFA Cup third-round ties.

Eagerly awaited
Inter's meeting with Sochaux already ranked among the most eagerly awaited of the night's 16 ties following last week's 2-2 draw in France. Inter's subsequent 3-1 defeat by Brescia Calcio has only intensified attention on the Nerazzurri players, who were driven straight to their training base after Sunday's match to begin their preparations.

Timely return
Inter coach Alberto Zaccheroni, who hopes to have defender Fabio Cannavaro available, admitted: "This team can give much more, although at this moment we're not." Sochaux will field striker Francilendo Santos, absent from the first leg after confusion over a medical that followed his return from the African Cup of Nations.

Paisley absent
Sochaux coach Guy Lacombe is without Grégory Paisley and Marcelo Trapasso but believes his side have "a chance". The same is true of Besiktas JK and Valencia CF, who meet in Istanbul with the Spaniards 3-2 ahead. Both sides are second in their domestic leagues but suffered weekend defeats. Besiktas coach Mircea Lucescu welcomes back Zago and Federico Giunti, although Emre Asik is suspended. Valencia, meanwhile, are without injured captain David Albelda as well as Vicente Rodríguez, Ricardo Oliveira, Curro Torres and Mista.

Opposite journey
Making the opposite journey to Spain are 2000 winners Galatasaray SK who meet Villarreal CF. Galatasaray, beaten 2-1 by rivals Fenerbahçe SK on Sunday, have Ayhan Akman suspended but Hakan Sükür should return from injury to test a home defence weakened by the absence of Sergio Ballesteros, sent off in the 2-2 first-leg draw.

Totti back
Another Turkish side, Gaziantepspor, will pull off a major shock if they can defend their 1-0 advantage against AS Roma at the Stadio Olimpico. Striker Hasan Özer is out but coach Nurullah Saglam insisted: "We are ambitious, determined and confident." Roma will be strengthened by Francesco Totti, making his first UEFA Cup appearance of the season, but Cristian Chivu and Olivier Dacourt are injured. Gençlerbirligi SK also have a 1-0 lead to defend against Italian opponents, in their case at home against Parma AC.

Barcelona hot streak
It would be hard to find a team in better form than FC Barcelona, who are seeking an eighth successive victory when they welcome former favourite Michael Laudrup back to the Camp Nou with his Brøndby IF side. Barcelona are still without Patrick Kluivert while Brøndby hope to have Morten Wieghorst and Kim Daugaard fit. Martin Retov returns from suspension.

Liverpool advantage
The 2001 winners Liverpool FC take a 2-0 advantage to PFC Levski Sofia, while 3-0 first-leg wins mean Celtic FC and RCD Mallorca should get past FK Teplice and FC Spartak Moskva. SL Benfica will look to continue their centenary celebrations with a successful visit to Rosenborg BK, who they defeated 1-0 in Lisbon. Club Brugge KV take an identical lead to Debreceni VSC.

French sides
French sides Olympique de Marseille and FC Girondins de Bordeaux are also 1-0 up ahead of second legs against FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk and Groclin Grodzisk Wielkopolski. Compatriots AJ Auxerre, meanwhile, travel to Panathinaikos FC, who are without striker Dimitris Papadopoulos. Auxerre, who drew 0-0 at home, are without Olivier Kapo and Jean-Alain Boumsong.

Dyer blow
Kieron Dyer will miss Newcastle United FC's home match against Vålerenga IF with a hamstring injury. The English side - also without the suspended Olivier Bernard - are favourites after last week's 1-1 away draw. Finally Arjen Robben, having sealed his summer transfer to Chelsea FC, should be available for PSV Eindhoven at home to AC Perugia. The first leg finished goalless and Perugia's hopes will not be helped by Fabrizio Ravanelli's absence.

Silver goal
If teams are still tied after 90 minutes tonight then the silver goal rule comes into operation. This means that away goals will not apply in extra time. If they are still tied after 120 minutes, a penalty shoot-out will decide the tie.

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