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Arsenal, Liverpool, Juventus and Barcelona face easy ties in Champions League qualifying

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08/09 Uefa Champions League 3rd Qualifying Round – first legs to be played on 12/13 August, second legs on 26/27 August. Winners move to the Champions League group stages while the losers will play in the first round of the Uefa Cup:

Anorthosis/Rapid Vienna v Olympiakos
Vitoria Guimaraes v IFK Gothenburg/Basel
Shakhtar Donetsk v Domzale/Dinamo Zagreb
Schalke 04 v Atletico Madrid
Aalborg/Modrica v Rangers/Kaunas
Barcelona v Beitar Jerusalem/Wisla Krakow
Levski Sofia v Anderlecht/BATE
Standard Liege v Liverpool
Inter Baku/Partizan v Fenerbahce/MTK Budapest
FC Twente v Arsenal
Spartak Moscow v Drogheda/Dinamo Kiev
Juventus v Tampere/Artmedia
SK Brann/Ventspils v Marseille
Fiorentina v Slavia Prague
Galatasaray v Steaua Bucharest
Panathinaikos/Dinamo Tbilisi v Sheriff Tiraspol/Sparta Prague

The pick of the round is going to be the Schalke v Atletico Madrid game – it would be a shame to see one of these teams not play in the Champions League this year after the seasons they had last year. In comparison, Europe’s elite face much easier ties, with Standard and Twente unlikely to give the English duo too much trouble and Juve and Barca more or less expected to coast comfortably to Champions League proper.

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