PARIS (AFP) - Celtic and Arsenal will battle for a place in the lucrative Champions League group stages on Tuesday in a mouthwatering play-off clash.
Both teams are among the 20 who will be hoping to emerge victorious from a two-leg tie which will allow them to join the 22 automatic qualifiers in the group stage, the draw for which will be held in just over a fortnight.
Scottish Premier League runners-up Celtic warmed up for the hosting of Arsene Wenger's Arsenal at Parkhead by beating Aberdeen away 3-1 on Saturday while Wenger's men hammered Everton 6-1 in their Premier League opener in Liverpool.
Arsenal go into Tuesday's clash as the overriding favourites.
And, having experienced their ruthless efficiency at close hand, Everton manager David Moyes suggested Celtic will have to perform formidably at the back as well as up front if they are to limit the damage.
"Arsenal have got a real capability of scoring on the counter attack," said the Scot.
"Every time we had a shot at goal and we let it go from the goalkeeper's arms, they nearly scored at the other end. I was nearly hoping that more shots were going to fly past the post."
Celtic's new manager Tony Mowbray has seen his side show their character at this early stage of the season.
The Hoops fought back from a 1-0 first leg defeat at home in the third round of qualifying to beat Dynamo Moscow 2-0 in Russia, a result which secured their place in the play-off.
Celtic striker Aiden McGeady, who grabbed a brace on Saturday, admits it will be a tough 90 minutes but he believes the hosts should face Spanish ace Cesc Fabregas and co. with plenty of faith in their abilities.
"We know we are the underdogs and they are obviously the favourites but they are definitely beatable," the Republic of Ireland midfielder said.
"A lot of teams in the Premier League beat them last season by getting in and around them and not letting them play and that's something we have to do on Tuesday night."
Sporting Lisbon, who finished runners-up in Portugal last season, will be looking to be more prolific at home if they are to achieve their aim of appearing in the group stages for a sixth time. This won't be an easy objective, as they face Fiorentina. Cesare Prandelli's team ended up fourth in Italy last season.
In the first leg of their qualifying round Paulo Bento's side advanced on the away goals rule after a 1-1 draw with Dutch side FC Twente, who had held the Portuguese to a scoreless draw in Lisbon.
VfB Stuttgart are aiming for their third appearance in the group stage but will do so against Champions League newcomers Timisoara of Romania without midfielder Martin Lanig.
He suffered cruciate ligament damage to his right knee in the 4-2 Bundesliga victory against SC Freiburg on Saturday, joining defender Christian Trasch on the injury sidelines after he broke a wrist last week.
Greek side Olympiakos will travel to Sheriff in Moldova in determined mood having failed to reach the group stages last season after being ousted by Cypriot side Anorthosis Famagusta.
Olympiakos are now coached by Anorthosis's former coach Temuri Ketsbaia.
Having taken Anorthosis to the Champions League group stages last year where they finished bottom of Group B, Ketsbaia may look on with a little interest when another Cypriot team, Apoel FC, travel to Denmark to face FC Copenhagen.
Celtic (SCO) v Arsenal (ENG)
Sporting Lisbon (POR) v Fiorentina (ITA)
Timisoara (ROM) v Stuttgart (GER)
Sheriff (MDA) v Olympiakos (GRE)
Copenhagen (DEN) v Apoel (CYP)
|Coach: L. Kuchuk|
for A. Suvorov 55'
for C. Arbănaş 70'
for A. Diedhiou 81'
|A-League Review: Taggart fires Perth to glory|
|Balotelli furious after alleged racial abuse at Bastia|
|Tottenham stronger than previous seasons - Eriksen|
|Wenger prepared for 17 cup finals to overhaul Chelsea|
|Maldini: Donnarumma can emulate my Milan success|
|Klopp urges Liverpool to enjoy title race|
|Shaw going through ´difficult period´ - Mourinho|
|Klopp not worried by Sturridge, Origi form|
|De Gea backs ´amazing´ Pogba|
|Pochettino: Tottenham bigger than City|
|Conte: I trust Diego Costa 100 per cent|
|Lewandowski admits he was lucky for Bayern winner|
|City as sharp as Barca and Bayern but lacking consistency, says Guardiola|
|Nice go top but struggles continue in draw with 10-man Bastia|
|AC Milan pull Deulofeu Tweet amid reports deal not yet complete|
|New Manchester City deal for Aguero but little fanfare|
|Matip gets all clear from FIFA to play for Liverpool after Cameroon row|
|Freiburg 1 Bayern Munich 2: Lewandowski to the rescue with late winner|
|Fonte completes £8million West Ham switch|
|Morocco 3 Togo 1: Renard´s men back on track with comeback victory|
|Stoke complete £12million Berahino signing|
|Egypt v Uganda: Pressure on Pharaohs to kickstart campaign|
|Aspas responds to alleged Ramos spit|
|Stoke agree Berahino deal with West Brom|
|AC Milan complete Deulofeu loan signing|
|Gerrard returns to Liverpool as academy coach|
|Ivory Coast 2 DR Congo 2: Serey Die rescues point but holders still in trouble|
|Di Maria committed to PSG amid reported CSL interest|
|Sanchez a role model - Xhaka|
|Tuchel trusts Schurrle to fill Aubameyang void|
|Ghana v Mali: Rahman injury poses a problem for Grant|
|Depay not holding Manchester United grudge|
|I love watching them - Guardiola a huge fan of Pochettino and Tottenham|
|Klopp: I could kick Mane in the... lower back|
|Conte: Ake is ready to help Chelsea´s title bid|
|Allardyce provides Evra, Van Aanholt and Jenknson updates|
|Guardiola looks beyond beleaguered Bravo for City woes|
|Begovic could leave Chelsea - Conte|
|PSG still on the hunt for striker, says Emery|
|Mourinho: Valencia the best right-back in football|
|Mourinho on Young to China talk: He hasn´t told me anything!|
|Costa wants to stay at Chelsea, reveals Conte|
|´I played worse sometimes´ - Zidane defends Ronaldo from critics|
|Injured Iniesta to miss Eibar clash|
|Mourinho open to Depay return|
|Lyon confirm Depay arrival|
|Germany to bid for Euro 2024|
|Sydney FC 2 Adelaide United 0: Two goals in three minutes extend lead|
|Depay could face Marseille as Lyon boss Genesio hails winger´s ´big motivation´|
|Hull loan Elabdellaoui from Olympiacos|
|AC Milan make final offer for Deulofeu|
|Hughes ´wouldn´t encourage´ Bojan bids|
|Worker dies at World Cup stadium in Qatar|
|West Brom sign Livermore|
|Lyon president Aulas: Depay deal imminent|
|Aubameyang: I could leave Dortmund, but I´d never join Bayern|
|´Equating Messi with anyone else is like comparing a policeman with Batman´ - Sampaoli|
|It will take years to build football culture, Wenger warns CSL|
|´Worried´ Rakitic wants Barca renewal|
|Inter not signing Messi - Moratti|
|Luis Enrique hails Barca defence after ending Anoeta curse|
|´He is made of different stuff´ - Spalletti hails Nainggolan after wondergoal|
|Tottenham´s Janssen turned down Galatasaray move, agent claims|
|Did Carroll´s wondergoal give the West Ham striker whiplash?|
|Iniesta suffers calf injury|
|Swansea situation not ´hopeless´, says Clement|
|Real Sociedad 0 Barcelona 1: Neymar ends Anoeta curse|
|´Immeasurable bulls**t´ - Ligue 1 coach destroys Van Basten´s offside plan|
|Simeone praises Atletico´s precision in Copa Del Rey win|
|Fonte situation difficult for Southampton - Puel|
|´Some of the best football in the UK´ - Watford´s Mazzarri hails Bournemouth|
|Senegal 2 Zimbabwe 0: Cisse´s men charge into quarter-finals|
|Rivaldo backs Luis Enrique to deliver more Barca success|
|Atletico Madrid 3 Eibar 0: Routine win earns quarter-final lead|
|Jesus will make Premier League history - Rivaldo|
|Adebayor: Arsenal are just Ozil and Sanchez|
|Algeria 1 Tunisia 2: Favourites on brink of elimination|
|Bayern keen to seal Coman deal as Rummenigge cools Gnabry interest|
|Pochettino has done his homework on Jesus as Spurs look to march on|
|Scrap offside? Premier League managers give Van Basten´s plans a cool reception|
|Coman ready for Bayern comeback, confirms Ancelotti|
|Pochettino upbeat despite six weeks out for Vertonghen, Lamela still a mystery|
|Cerezo defiant over Griezmann amid talk of Manchester United agreement|
|Robinho named in Brazil squad for Chapecoense fundraiser|
|Davies and Lookman aren´t the big men of Everton, warns Koeman|
|Ivory Coast v DR Congo: Dussyer demands champions show true strength|
|Replacing Robben and Ribery not easy - Hitzfeld|
|Yeray back in Athletic training after successful cancer surgery|
|Karanka targeting more Boro deals after Bamford swoop|
|Cavani: I am the ultimate finisher|
|Morocco v Togo: El Ahmadi hungry for success|
|Ancelotti denies Verratti approach|
|A-League Review: Cahill double sees Melbourne City sink Mariners|
|Manchester United very happy with Shaw, insists agent|
|Mertesacker extends Arsenal deal|
|Boost for Arsenal as key quartet returns to training|
|Will Jesus save Manchester City´s title bid? Guardiola´s new striker in Opta numbers|
|Tevez mobbed after touching down in Shanghai|
|Payet exit not inevitable - Bilic|
|Wenger: Arsenal don´t need Payet|
|Jesus wants Manchester City titles|
|Orsolini arrives for Juventus medical|
|Rivaldo backs Coutinho to join Neymar at Barcelona|
|No danger of Messi leaving Barcelona, says father|
|Augusto: I convinced Oscar to come to China|
|Madrid-bound Maradona visits Napoli training|
|Sevilla in no rush over Sampaoli talks despite Barcelona links|
|Cafu: Resurgent Brazil can challenge world´s best|
|Klopp thrilled with Coutinho|
|Manchester United replace Real Madrid as world´s richest club|
|Madrid squad annoyed by defeats - Zidane wants more energy after latest loss|
|Casemiro rues more misery for Madrid against Celta|
|´Job done, let´s go home´ - Klopp happy to avoid extra time with narrow Plymouth win|