UEFA Cup takes centre stage - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

UEFA Cup takes centre stage

By STEPHEN WADE, AP Sports Writer 15/12/2004 05:52:00 AM Comments (0)

Europe's second-tier club competition is No. 1 this week.

The 16-team field for the Champions League has already been determined. Now it's time to complete the field for the 32-team knockout stage of the UEFA Cup.

Twelve places are at stake Wednesday and Thursday.

Under this season's new UEFA Cup format, the top three teams in each of the eight groups advance to the knockout stage. Those 24 teams are joined by the eight teams that finished third in their Champions League groups.

The draws for the Champions League and UEFA Cup will be held Friday in Nyon, Switzerland.

A quick look at the UEFA Cup groups:

Group A - Feyenoord and Schalke 04 have advanced; Basel has the best chance of grabbing the third spot.

Group B - Steaua Bucharest has qualified and Athletic Bilbao is nearly through. Standard Liege, Besiktas and Parma still have a chance.

Group C - Dnipro has advanced and Zaragoza looks likely to qualify. Brugge has the best chance of taking third.

Group D - Newcastle is through and should be joined by Sporting Lisbon. French side Sochaux is likely to claim third.

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