Full preview: round of 32

Cobrakai, 25-02-2010 om 17:18, 1855 views, Uefa.com |

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UEFA.com rounds up the team news and pre-match comment from all of the 15 UEFA Europa League ties which conclude on Thursday. The draw for the round of 16 is already made.

AS Roma v Panathinaikos FC, 19.00 (first leg: 2-3)
Roma will be without Júlio Sérgio, David Pizarro and captain Francesco Totti as they look to overturn a first-leg deficit, but while coach Claudio Ranieri thinks it is "no accident" that Panathinaikos top the Greek league, he said: "In the past I have said I want to bring a European trophy back to Rome and I haven't changed my mind." Ranieri also saluted UEFA's Respect campaign, but admitted his views on the joy of sport for its own sake did not quite chime with those of the founder of the modern Olympics. "I'm not Pierre De Coubertin," he joked. "I always like to win." Panathinaikos coach Nikos Nioplias, who can call upon Gilberto again after he missed the first leg, thinks the absence of Pizarro for the hosts could help his team. "He is the player who threatened the most and so he's the hardest for Ranieri to replace," he said.

FC Shakhtar Donetsk v Fulham FC, 19.00 (1-2)
Shakhtar boss Mircea Lucescu will make a late decision on whether to field defender Razvan Raţ (knee) and Luiz Adriano in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup winners' decider against Fulham, but maintained that victory was within the Pitmen's grasp. "Fulham were very lucky to beat us," he said of the first leg. "They only carved out two chances. We controlled the game and were indisputably the dominant side." The Romanian said the first leg had been "a clash between physical strength and technique". Fulham manager Roy Hodgson echoed his counterpart's comments. "We saw how well they can play and realise that our task is a big one," he said. "My players will need to play exceptionally well."

Galatasaray AŞ v Club Atlético de Madrid, 19.00 (1-1)
Without Harry Kewell (groin), Milan Baro¨ (metatarsal) and Gökhan Zan (shoulder), and facing doubts over the fitness of Elano, Arda Turan, Uğur Uçar, Caner Erkin and Sabri Sarıoğlu, Galatasaray coach Frank Rijkaard has reason for caution. "It's important to field players who are 100% match fit," he said. The Istanbul club's former Atlético goalkeeper Leo Franco added: "Simao, Diego Forlán and Sergio Agüero are their most dangerous players. We have to watch for them. Last week's match showed that there is no big difference in the standard of the two teams." The visitors received a boost after forward Agüero recovered from flu, but goalkeeper David De Gea (thigh) and defender Álvaro Domínguez (suspended) will miss out.

RSC Anderlecht v Athletic Club, 19.00 (1-1)
Ariël Jacobs has waved away suggestions that Anderlecht are favourites because Athletic are usually significantly stronger at home. "It is a fact that Athletic are good at home, but it is just one of their qualities," said the Anderlecht coach. "I cannot tell which team are favourites. In Europe it comes down to being efficient in front of the goal." Nicolás Frutos (calf) is not expected to make the game, but Cheikhou Kouyaté should recover from an ankle knock and the Senegalese midfielder said he was enjoying the continental challenge. "I learn a lot from these European matches against top sides who play in strong competitions. It is also much easier for family and friends to watch back in Senegal." Athletic coach Joaquín Caparrós has a fully fit squad at his disposal and said: "We only have one option, and that is to score. Out chances of going through are 50-50."

Olympique de Marseille v FC København, 19.00 (3-1)
Didier Deschamps has called on his players to focus as they welcome København to Marseille. "We have to tread carefully and play with application and intent," he said. "The visitors have nothing to lose and are well prepared. We're playing well, but we still have 90 minutes to play and shouldn't give them any chances to get back into the tie." He will have to do without injured defensive duo Cyril Rool and Julien Rodriguez while Brandão is still out and Stéphane Mbia is suspended. The club's leading scorer Mamadou Niang may not start because he is nursing a cut on his Achilles heel. Visiting coach Ståle Solbakken, who may be without full-back Zdeněk Pospěch (calf), said "we need to score first and then see what happens".

PSV Eindhoven v Hamburger SV, 19.00 (0-1)
PSV boss Fred Rutten is sure that his side can match Hamburg punch for punch, even if the game is not decided after 90 minutes. With no injury concerns, Rutten said: "There is not much difference in physique between the two teams; at the end of the match in Hamburg we still had reserves of strength. That means we are well trained so I am not scared of extra time." HSV coach Bruno Labbadia, without Ruud van Nistelrooy and Marcell Jansen, said: "Matches between German and Dutch clubs are always special, and we saw in the first match that it was a close game. Because of our 1-0 lead we are in a good position."

FC Unirea Urziceni v Liverpool FC, 19.00 (0-1)
Home head coach Roni Levy has said Liverpool "are the favourites", but added: "We have a chance, it's true that this chance is small, but as long as it exists we have to go for it." Unirea have no injury worries and will just miss Pablo Brandán, who is banned. Midfielder Sorin Paraschiv said: "Playing against Liverpool is something fantastic, unique. At this level a player has to enjoy the moment, the chance to play. We will have to be very patient, because let's not forget that Liverpool won the Champions League." Fernando Torres is likely to be a substitute for the Reds as he continues his comeback from injury, while Yossi Benayoun could start after recovering from a broken rib. "We have the confidence and belief that we will qualify," said manager Rafael Benítez.

Sporting Clube de Portugal v Everton, 21.05 (1-2)
Sporting coach Carlos Carvalhal has called on the club's fans to get behind the team as they eye a last-16 place, saying: "Everton are tough opponents. We have to be balanced and intelligent and will count on our supporters to help us qualify. We have to keep our style and battle Everton's strongest points while taking advantage of their weaknesses." The visitors could welcome back long-term injury casualty Phil Jagielka to their defence with Sylvain Distin suspended. "I trust Jagielka and he's capable of playing if needed," said manager David Moyes, whose side have beaten Chelsea FC and Manchester United FC in recent weeks.

Valencia CF v Club Brugge KV, 21.05 (0-1)
Valencia coach Unai Emery said he was "optimistic about getting to the next stage" as his side prepared to face Club Brugge at Mestalla. David Navarro, Bruno Saltor and Jérémy Mathieu are injured, but Emery maintained that Alexis and Joaquín were fit to play. He has yet to decide whether César Sánchez or Miguel Ángel Moyá will be in goal and is also considering his striking options in the absence of the suspended David Silva, saying: "It is possible that Nikola ´igić and David Villa will play together." Visiting coach Adrie Koster said he expects the hosts to score but is "also convinced that we will score a goal, forcing Valencia to get three". Club Brugge will be missing injured midfield trio Jeroen Simaeys, Nabil Dirar and Ronald Vargas.

Juventus v AFC Ajax, 21.05 (2-1)
Alberto Zaccheroni said his Juventus side must "keep their feet on the ground as football is unpredictable" despite his side holding a 2-1 lead. The 56-year-old coach will be without Gianluigi Buffon after the goalkeeper was ruled out for a month with a thigh injury, and while Mauro Camoranesi is available after recovering from a similar problem, Zaccheroni conceded that he was not ready to start. "We care about the Europa League and will do our best to go as far as possible in the competition," he said. Counterpart Martin Jol vowed to "play attacking football from the kick-off, even if Juventus are clear favourites". Rasmus Lindgren misses out again for Ajax while striker Luis Suárez is suspended.

Fenerbahçe SK v LOSC Lille Métropole, 21.05 (1-2)
With nine first-teamers missing through injury or suspension, Christoph Daum said he would have to field players out of position. "I have trust in each of my players and we hope the game will be a turning point for us," the German coach said. "We are going to play the second half of the tie and although they are ahead, our aim is to turn that round." Rudi Garcia's options are also limited with two midfielders suspended – Yohan Cabaye and Florent Balmont – plus the injured trio of Gervinho, Mathieu Debuchy and Túlio De Melo. "We may make some tactical changes, but will search for a goal," the Lille coach said.

Werder Bremen v FC Twente, 21.05 (0-1)
Longstanding Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf knows the visitors pose plenty of threat. "Twente will play very compact, but they are always capable of scoring," he said. "We have to find the right balance." Philipp Bargfrede is available for the hosts but Clemens Fritz will miss out, while Twente look set to be without key striker Blaise Nkufo (hamstring). Tukkers coach Steve McClaren expects his team to receive an early onslaught from the hosts. "I think Bremen will be play with a very high tempo," he said "We have to overcome the first 20 minutes."

VfL Wolfsburg v Villarreal CF, 21.05 (2-2)
Wolfsburg caretaker coach Lorenz-Günther Köstner is adamant that his side "cannot go for all-out attack" against Villarreal, even though their opponents are still reeling from a 6-2 league defeat by Real Madrid CF. Switzerland goalkeeper Diego Benaglio has not recovered from a knee injury in time to play. "Should we continue to the next round, it would be the biggest success ever for Wolfsburg on the international stage," Köstner said. "If that's not enough motivation, I don't know what is." For Villarreal, Santi Carzola is out with a back problem while striker Giuseppe Rossi has not travelled because of personal problems and coach Juan Carlos Garrido said: "We will have to be on top of our game to go through."

FC Salzburg v R. Standard de Liège, 21.05 (2-3)
The absence of integral defenders Christian Schwegler and Franz Schiemer through suspension is Salzburg coach Huub Stevens' main concern. "We have seen how quick Standard can come back into the game, so we have to be careful," he said. "They have some outstanding individuals and a bit of 'English spirit' on the pitch. We have only one aim: a win which will hopefully be good enough to progress." Coach Domenico D'Onofrio said his Standard side "need to be well organised on the pitch" while captain Steven Defour summed up the tie situation in his mission statement for the team. "There is only one goal for us in Austria: not to lose," he said.

Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC v FC Rubin Kazan, 21.05 (0-3)
Eli Gutman asked his players to look beyond the miserable first-leg scoreline as Tel-Aviv look to overturn a three-goal deficit in Israel. "If we think too much about the score in Kazan, we won't make it," he insisted. "We can't predict what will happen but we should play the right way. We have no away goals so it's all about not letting Kazan score here." Tel-Aviv will be without Dedi Ben Dayan (thigh) but Etey Shechter is available after missing Monday's 4-2 derby win against Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC with a shoulder problem. For his part, Rubin coach Kurban Berdyev, who may have to do without Aleksandr Ryazantsev (ankle), insisted his team had to be wary and warned them about "Hapoel's threat and qualities".

All times CET.
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