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One step closer to Glasgow goal

CA Osasuna are well placed to qualify for the UEFA Cup semi-finals on Thursday but there is little to choose between the six remaining quarter-finalists.

While CA Osasuna are best-placed of the UEFA Cup quarter-finalists to qualify for last four, there is little to choose between the remaining six contenders following last week's close-run first-leg matches.

Advantage Osasuna
Goals in Germany by Javier Cuéllar, David López and Pierre Wébo have given Osasuna a commanding 3-0 lead to protect against Bayer 04 Leverkusen at the Estadio Reyno de Navarra but Wébo has urged against complacency ahead of the second leg. "We won't make the mistake of underestimating Leverkusen," he said. "We must be very careful in the return leg because we know anything can happen in football."

Espanyol errors
Fellow Primera División outfit RCD Espanyol are also in the running for a semi-final berth after defeating SL Benfica at home but must overcome the disappointment of having their 3-0 lead reduced by second-half strikes from Nuno Gomes and Simão. "We did the most complicated thing – taking a 3-0 lead against Benfica only for defensive mistakes to make it 3-2," said midfielder Ivan de la Peña. "But we would have settled for that before the game and, on the positive side, they must win while we play well on the counterattack."

Benfica character
Benfica defender Nélson is delighted at the way his side showed the resolve to get back into the tie after seemingly slipping out of contention with an hour gone. "It wasn't a comfortable game but we have a great team and showed strength of character to turn the match around," he said. "Everything is in our favour with the return leg at home."

AZ confident
The winners of that tie will earn a last-four meeting against Werder Bremen or AZ Alkmaar, who played out a goalless first leg in the Netherlands. Bremen captain Torsten Frings has predicted a more open game at the Weserstadion and AZ midfielder Danny De Zeeuw believes this will play into their hands. "We've played better away from home several times this season so hopefully we can do it again in Bremen."

Sevilla task
In the remaining fixture, Tottenham Hotspur FC welcome holders Sevilla FC after a 2-1 defeat in Spain with the winners to take on Leverkusen or Osasuna in the semi-finals. Robbie Keane's early opener was cancelled out by strikes from former Tottenham striker Frédéric Kanouté and Aleksandr Kerzhakov but Sevilla coach Juande Ramos knows the job is only half done. "It will be a very, very tough game over there," he said. "We'll have to work very hard to get through." Tottenham defender Pascal Chimbonda agrees: "We scored an important away goal and are strong at home so we definitely feel we can win." All will be revealed on Thursday night.