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Inaugural group stage draws closer

Former European champions SL Benfica, Feyenoord and FC Steaua Bucuresti are among 40 clubs in Tuesday's draw.

Famous names
The first round was completed last Thursday night, when a number of famous names won through. Former European champions SL Benfica, Feyenoord and FC Steaua Bucuresti were chief among them, with past UEFA Cup winners FC Schalke 04 and Parma FC also progressing. The Netherlands and Spain are represented by four teams, while France, Germany, Greece and Belgium each have three clubs still in contention.

Top seeds Lazio
The qualifiers have been divided into five pools of eight teams based on their UEFA coefficient. S.S. Lazio are the top seeds, and FC Dinamo Tbilisi of Georgia the bottom. A team from each seeding pool will be assigned to a group, although clubs from the same national association cannot be drawn together.

Computer draw
When the draw concludes - with eight groups of five teams - a computer draw will take place to determine the fixture schedule with factors such as stadium clashes and climatic conditions (it is not possible to play in some northern countries in mid-December) taken into account.

Three through
Each club will play two matches at home and two away on the following dates: 21 October, 4 November, 25 November 1/2 December, 15/16 December. The winners, runners-up and third-placed clubs from each group advance to the last 32 where they are joined by the eight third-placed clubs from the UEFA Champions League group stage. At this point, the traditional two-match format is used with the exception of the final.

Lisbon final
The competition concludes at the Estádio José Alvalade on 18 May 2005. The stadium's home team, Sporting Clube de Portugal, are still in the competition, finding themselves among the second set of seeds along with the likes of UEFA Intertoto Cup winners Villarreal CF, LOSC Lille Métropole and Schalke.

2004/05 UEFA Cup group stage participants
PotClub (country)Coefficient
1S.S. Lazio (ITA)83.531
1Parma FC (ITA)66.531
1Feyenoord (NED)65.247
1Newcastle United FC (ENG)61.511
1AEK Athens FC (GRE)51.467
1VfB Stuttgart (GER)47.331
1Club Brugge KV (BEL)43.528
1Rangers FC (SCO)42.600
2Villarreal CF (ESP)42.350
2AJ Auxerre (FRA)34.947
2FC Schalke 04 (GER)34.331
2Sporting Clube de Portugal (POR)33.969
2Real Zaragoza (ESP)33.350
2Besiktas JK (TUR) 32.656
2SL Benfica (POR)29.969
2LOSC Lille Métropole (FRA)27.947
3Athletic Club Bilbao (ESP) 26.350
3Sevilla FC (ESP) 26.350
3NK Dinamo Zagreb (CRO)25.733
3FC Basel 1893 (SUI)25.382
3FC Sochaux-Montbéliard (FRA)24.947
3Middlesbrough FC (ENG)20.511
3FC Utrecht (NED) 20.247
3Grazer AK (AUT)19.970
4FK Partizan (SCG)18.655
4FC Steaua Bucuresti (ROM)17.881
4Heart of Midlothian FC (SCO) 17.600
4SC Heerenveen (NED) 17.247
4TSV Alemannia Aachen (GER) 16.331
4KS Amica Wronki (POL)16.176
4Panionios NFC (GRE) 15.467
4FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk (UKR)14.300
5Ferencvárosi TC (HUN)13.046
5R. Standard de Liège (BEL) 12.528
5Egaleo FC (GRE)11.467
5AZ Alkmaar (NED)11.247
5FC Zenit St. Peterburg (RUS)9.572
5KSK Beveren (BEL)9.528
5FK Austria Wien (AUT)8.970
5FC Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO)1.650