I think both sides have the same chance of qualifying.
Sporting CP v CSKA Moskva
o In the sides’ sole previous encounter, Valeri Gazaev’s CSKA beat José Peseiro’s Sporting 3-1 in the 2005 UEFA Cup final, held at Sporting’s Estádio José Alvalade in Lisbon. They scored seven goals across the ties against Maribor and HJK, so we have to focus and get a good result here.
Zoran Milinkovi?, Partizan coach
BATE have been in the Champions League group stage four times since 2008, so they are used to big competitions. We have to take our chance, we have to try and play the same and see where it takes us. I asked Vuk Ra?ovi?, the head coach of Dinamo Minsk, for some help during my preparations - as you know, he used to work at Partizan.
Stefano Pioli, Lazio coach
Federico Marchetti and Filip Djordjevi? are not available for the game. Brugge, under Michel Preud’homme, defend very well. We know that Astana are a really good team with quality in their play. The fact that we have played more games this season is not relevant.
Lazio v Bayer Leverkusen
o Lazio are in the UEFA Champions League play-offs for the first time but are without goalkeeper Federico Marchetti due to a rib injury.
o Leverkusen’s record in games in Italy reads W1 D3 L3. This is not an advantage.
2005 UEFA Cup final: Sporting v CSKA
Michel Preud’homme, Club Brugge coach
Of course they have a better chance than us, but in England in particular you often see the smaller team beat the bigger team. That is what Arsène Wenger said last year – that ties such as this are difficult. Lazio have some good players and I consider them to be a useful team. In spite of some recent disappointing results in the Belarusian league [BATE have not scored in picking up one point from their last two fixtures] we need to concentrate on our game and show our best qualities. They have a quality team, so we’re aware that we need two good performances. You see that in their cup all the time. Leonid Slutski, CSKA coach
Tests have shown that [Seydou Doumbia] is fit, but he’s only played one pre-season game so it’s hard to be sure how long he can play for. There are nerves within the team, but it certainly won’t be the end of the world if we are eliminated. This is a hugely important game for Kazakhstan. In England, I’m sure the pressure is on Manchester United because they have to beat Club Brugge.
Stanimir Stoilov, Astana coach
We want the Champions League flag to fly high at the Astana Arena for a long time. They have drawn 1-1 twice in Rome, against Roma (in 2004) as well as against Lazio in the 1999/2000 UEFA Champions League first group stage.
Jorge Jesus, Sporting coach
We are playing a team who are leading the Russian league, which is already five weeks old, so they will have an intensity and competitive instinct [we don't]. They are a quick and dynamic team who attack well down the flanks and through the centre. It will be BATE’s 75th game in Europe’s top club competition.
©Getty Images BATE coach Aleksandr Ermakovich
Manchester United v Club Brugge
o United boast Belgian talent in the shape of Adnan Januzaj and Marouane Fellaini, both born in Brussels (the Etterbeek area in Fellaini’s case). That is why the pressure is high.
Aleksandr Ermakovich, BATE coach
We have some Balkan players [Serbians Filip Mladenovi? and Nemanja Milunovi? and Montenegrin Nemanja Nikoli?] who have told us in great detail what Partizan’s game is like. We have watched Sporting’s last four matches and we have a clear idea of their level and how ready they are. They are also winless in six matches (home and away) against English teams since a 1-0 first-leg success over Chelsea in the 1994/95 UEFA Cup Winners’ quarter-finals (they succumbed 2-0 in the return).
Louis van Gaal, Manchester United manager
There’s a lot of pressure because our aim and goal is to reach the Champions League. Patrick [Twumasi]‘s absence will be felt.
Roger Schmidt, Leverkusen coach
Unlike Lazio, we have already played some [competitive] matches, but that doesn’t mean our condition is better than theirs. Lucas Biglia is, however - he is our captain, we are proud of this, and tomorrow he will definitely play. CSKA are quality opponents but our team are improving and starting to understand more and more what we want from them. They are unbeaten in nine UEFA Champions League qualifying matches (W5 D4). We will try and change the team and our game plan, but we need to be cautious for the 90 minutes.
BATE Borisov v Partizan
o BATE have won all three of their UEFA Champions League play-off ties to date.
o The first leg is Partizan’s 100th match in the UEFA Champions League and European Champion Clubs’ Cup; the previous 99 ended W39 D22 L38. They can also attack, so it will be a difficult match.
o This is CSKA’s first UEFA Champions League play-off. We know what that is like because the Belgian journalists always say we have to win.
©AFP/Getty Images Lazio coach Stefano Pioli
Astana v APOEL
o No Kazakh club has ever won a UEFA play-off tie; Shakhter moved into the UEFA Europa League group stage in 2013/14 after losing a UEFA Champions League play-off against Celtic, while Astana crashed 7-0 on aggregate to Villarreal after progressing to last year’s UEFA Europa League play-offs.
o APOEL are missing Vander, Sathis Aloneftis and Urko Pardo through injury.
Five great play-off round goals
Domingos Paciência, APOEL coach
It is not normal for us to play on an artificial surface, it has different characteristics, but we have to be well-prepared and adapt fast. Fellaini played under Club Brugge coach Michel Preud’homme at Standard Liège from 2006-08, winning the Belgian title in 2007/08.
o Club Brugge are yet to win in 11 games in England (D2 L9). In attack we have Miroslav Klose as the central striker, but Keita and Ricardo Kishna can help us too.. We are not favourites just because we have played in the UEFA Champions League in recent seasons
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