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Tuesday 30. September 2003 - 22:30

Champions League matches in Group G

Teams news and probable line-ups for Wednesday's Champions League matches in Group G:


Dutch defender Jaap Stam returns to steady Lazio's defence after they shipped two goals in four minutes to draw 2-2 with Serie A minnows Empoli last weekend.

In midfield, pacy Br azilian winger Cesar is still recovering from a foot injury and his place on the left should be taken by Sergio Conceicao.

Sparta Prague will welcome playmaker Lukas Zelenka back into their European campaign after he missed more than a month with a broken collarbone. Zelenka was inspirational in last weekend's 4-0 demolition of bottom club Chmel Blsany, the Czech champions' first away win this season.

However, Slovak wingback Martin Petras is out for at least one month after breaking a bone in his foot during their 1-0 home defeat by Chelsea. Jan Flachbart is set to replace him.

In-form striker Marek Kincl is expected to get the nod ahead of Serbia and Montenegro's Igor Gluscevic.

Probable teams:

Lazio: 1-Angelo Peruzzi, 22-Massimo Oddo, 31-Jaap Stam, 11-Sinisa Mihajlovic, 19-Giuseppe Favalli, 14-Stefano Fiore, 4-Demetrio Albertini, 10-Dejan Stankovic, 53-Sergio Conceicao, 9-Bernardo Corradi, 7-Claudio Lopez.

Sparta: 29-Jaromir Blazek, 5-Jan Flachbart, 8-Tomas Huebschman, 17-Petr Johana, 3-Vladimir Labant, 8-Karel Poborsky, 15-Radoslav Kovac, 20-Jiri Nemec, 7-Lukas Zelenka, 9-Marek Kincl, 14-Libor Sionko.

Referee: Claude Colombo (France).


England full back John Terry has shrugged off a calf injury sustained during training. French international duo William Gallas, the unlikely scorer in Prague a fortnight ago, and Marcel Desailly are likely to hold the fort at the back as they did against Aston Villa last Saturday. French midfielder Emmanuel Petit is the only doubt after picking up a knock on the knee.

Chelsea, who have won eight of their last nine games and lost only once in their 40 European home games, will be looking for quick movement and goals in their first full home Champions League game for four seasons.

Coach Claudio Ranieri has a wealth of players with European experience to choose from and, though he has said he wants to rotate players to keep them fresh, could yet include Dutch striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, their top scorer this season and the matchwinner in the 1-0 victory over Villa.

Besiktas playmaker Sergen Yalcin is not expected to start despite recovering from injury to play in their 5-0 win over Trabzonspor in Istanbul at the weekend.

An injury in Monday training to Sinan Kaloglu may further narrow coach Mircea Lucescu's options in midfield for the Turkish first division leaders. Besiktas have lost all six of their away Champions League games.

Probable teams:

Chelsea: 23-Carlo Cudicini, 15-Mario Melchiot, 6-Marcel Desailly, 13-William Gallas, 18-Wayne Bridge, 20-Juan Sebastian Veron, 4- Claude Makelele, 8-Frank Lampard, 11-Damien Duff, 7-Adrian Mutu, 21-Hernan Crespo.

Besiktas: 1- Oscar Cordoba, 30-Zago, 5- Ronaldo Guiaro, 4-Ahmet Yildirim, 3-Tayfur Havutcu, 20-Federico Giunti, 17-Kaan Dobra, 19-Ibrahim Uzulmez, 9-Daniel Pancu, 26-Ilhan Mansiz, 67-Metin Tumer.

Referee: Lucilio Cardoso Cortez Batista (Portugal).  
Provided by: Frank Henriksen
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