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'
|Argentina v Chile: New year, same Copa finalists|
|Ronaldo ´cannot be the whole of Portugal´ - Shilton|
|Messi: Neymar is an amazing person|
|Pekerman keen to finish Copa on high note|
|Rakitic: Ronaldo won´t sleep easily|
|Messi: Now is not a time to give nothing|
|Courtois expects to leave Chelsea in future|
|Less rest no problem for Portugal - Joao Mario|
|Euro 2016 Diary: Benteke rap and Nelly the elephant|
|Santos: Group-stage performances behind Portugal|
|Cacic: We cannot let Ronaldo show his strength|
|O´Neill hopes to blow Bale off course|
|Coleman impressed with Ramsey´s discipline|
|O´Neill fires derby passions ahead of Wales showdown|
|Coleman: Take emotion out of Northern Ireland clash|
|LFP sanctions six Nice players for flouting gambling rules|
|Hungary v Belgium: Lukaku targets last-four spot|
|Dyke hopes Brexit can help England youngsters|
|No favourites against Italy, says Koke|
|Krychowiak not thinking about PSG as Poland stand by Lewandowski|
|World Cup qualifying: Algeria, Cameroon and Nigeria drawn in same group|
|Brexit may damage Premier League´s pursuit of young European players|
|Germany v Slovakia: Weiss confident of repeat Augsburg success|
|France v Republic of Ireland: Long not on Henry revenge mission|
|Chelsea midfielder Baker extends Vitesse loan|
|Chiellini concerned over Brexit ´domino effect´|
|Staying in Euro 2016 gets Coleman´s vote|
|Nainggolan has a room with a balcony so he can smoke - Wilmots|
|Petkovic attempts Poland mind games|
|Wilmots would rather play Spain than Hungary|
|Morata deserves more than being a Madrid bargaining chip - Chiellini|
|AZ want record fee for Janssen|
|What does Brexit mean for European football?|
|I´m not tired, I feel sharp - Kane hits back at critics|
|Delighted Kiyotake hopes to prove his value|
|Premier League confident Brexit will not diminish its success|
|Neuer wary of Hamsik´s long-range shots|
|Genesio: Lyon do not have to sell|
|Morata thanks Juventus fans after Real Madrid return|
|Lapadula undergoes AC Milan medical|
|Santos: Not everything revolves around Ronaldo|
|Icelandic chihuahua prepares to chase the England rhino|
|Jakupovic signs new Hull City contract|
|Lagerback: Brexit will not affect England team|
|ES Setif disqualified from CAF Champions League|
|Gerland sees Kimmich as Lahm´s long-term successor|
|Navas ´recovering nicely´ from heel injury|
|Messi excited by future Barcelona challenges|
|Conte´s Italy like Atletico and Barcelona, says Xavi|
|Zidane the man to take Madrid forward, says Baptista|
|United States v Colombia: Hosts out to end Copa America on a high|
|Aubameyang: It´s my dream to play in Spain|
|Wenger not interested in France job|
|Ronaldo: Euro 2016 surprises end now for Portugal|
|Coke hopeful Sampaoli can exceed Emery at Sevilla|
|Maradona: Portugal too dependent on Ronaldo|
|´What a disaster´ - Messi takes aim at AFA|
|Guidetti: Nolito will thrive at City|
|Wanyama thanks Southampton fans following Spurs switch|
|Kranjcar: Rangers can push Celtic all the way|
|Euro 2016 Diary: Icelandic heaven and Rooney not feeling the love|
|Wenger respects Vardy, talks up Kante|
|Rooney wants to end ´disappointing´ tournament record for England|
|Di Maria in serious doubt for Copa America final|
|´We gave it all´, Alaba tells Austria fans|
|Euro 2016 Social Round-Up: Last 16 sides prepare for the knockout rounds|
|Osorio to stay on as Mexico manager despite Copa humbling|
|Tottenham complete Wanyama signing|
|Claridge: England are misusing Jamie Vardy|
|Marseille complete double swoop|
|Wales v Northern Ireland: Evans eager to prolong Irish dream|
|Underdog heroics justify UEFA´s bulkier Euros|
|Atletico Madrid president confirms Vrsaljko move|
|Rejecting Arsenal a ´mature´ move for Leicester star Vardy - Claridge|
|Switzerland v Poland: Seferovic targets final, Pazdan staying humble|
|Juanfran: Spain can use Atletico´s philosophy|
|´It’s always nice to finish above the English´ - Bale sticks the boot in again|
|Euro 2016´s top five moments so far: Payet cries a river as newcomers steal the show|
|Galatasaray fail in CAS appeal|
|´Nice will forever be in my heart´ - How France legend Just Fontaine kickstarted his career on the C|
|Team of the Euro 2016 group stage: Payet, Perisic join blistering Bale|
|The flop XI of the Euro 2016 group stage: Kane and Ibrahimovic join limp Lewandowski|
|O´Neill delighted with Northern Ireland draw placing|
|Germany optimistic on Boateng fitness|
|Croatia v Portugal: Cacic determined to spring another shock|
|Icelandic strongman Magnusson mocks Portugal´s Ronaldo|
|Noble expects West Ham stay for Payet|
|Petrov joins Villa for pre-season camp|
|´We always score our penalties´ - Hallgrimsson sends warning to England|
|Kalinic expects Croatia to progress|
|Rooney respect for Hodgson´s Slovakia gamble|
|Vardy stays at Leicester: Champions buoyed, but what next for Arsenal?|
|Lafferty backs Northern Ireland to go all the way|
|Elmohamady extends Hull stay|
|Hodgson demands ruthlessness from England to open up Iceland|
|´He was nearly dead six years ago´ - Coleman full of admiration for Duffy|
|Rangers seal Kranjcar deal|
|Iniesta wary of ´powerful´ Italy|
|I wanted to rest Gera - Storck|
|Gera living late career dream after waking from injury nightmare|
|Vardy to stay at Leicester after agreeing new contract|
|Morata still wanted by ´top Premier League clubs´|
|Sigurdsson warns Iceland of danger posed by golf buddy Kane|
|Pekerman furious with referee after Colombia´s Copa exit|
|Euro 2016 is wide open, says Cahill|
|Pizzi hails Chile´s ´winners´ mentality|
|Bjarnason hails team spirit among Iceland friends|
|Coentrao defends Ronaldo: ´Speak now, parrots!´|
|MLS Review: Alberg hat-trick inspires Union, RSL leave it late|
|Conte: I´m not from the moon, I know Spain are good|
|Santos wants more from Ronaldo|
|Colombia 0 Chile 2: Early goals see defending champions into Copa final|
|Martino receives Di Maria boost ahead of Copa final|
|De Gea thanks his critics for motivating him|
|Barca not contemplating Neymar exit|
|Pain before pleasure for Sigurdsson and Iceland´s heroes|
|Lavezzi remains upbeat despite Copa-ending injury|
|Smell of injustice: Swedish player cops farting red|
|Ibrahimovic ´very proud´ of Sweden career|
|Euro 2016 Diary: Germany grab the sunloungers, Benzema on the beach and life through a lens|
|´If you don´t know nothing, keep quiet´ - Deeney responds to speculation|
|Wilmots: Belgium must be more clinical|
|Vote remain and we´ll forgive you for 1966! - German newspaper wade into Brexit debate|
|Hamren: Sweden will never find another Ibrahimovic|
|Conte: Ireland got more than they deserved|
|O´Neill hails Ireland heroes|
|Hazard: Ibrahimovic not done yet|