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Group C
AEK Athens v Monaco

In contrast, Monaco are sitting pretty at the top, knowing that they only need to match Deportivo La Coruna’s result against Ajax to win the group.

Despite their position, AEK coach Dusan Bajevic has promised that his side will battle hard against the French to restore some pride.

“We want to win this match because we want to restore our prestige in Europe,” he said.

The Greek side face with an injury problem with Michalis Kapsis undergoing a late fitness test, while striker Ilija Ilic will definitely be ruled out through injury.

Monaco are also faced with a depleted squad after goalkeeper Flavio Roma was injured in training and Ludovic Giuly and Andreas Zikos are suspended.

Coach Didier Deschamps has received good news in the shape that Croatian Dado Prso will start. The striker, who has been linked with a £2m move to Portsmouth, was suffering with a pulled muscle.

Monaco boast the best scoring record in the competition this season and are assured of qualification, but former French international Deschamps, is predicting a tough fight against the Greeks.

“It will be a very difficult game. We are through, but I want us to win the group,” he said.

PSV v Deportivo

Gus Hiddink’s team must win by three clear goals and need Monaco to beat AEK Athens.

Hiddink is somewhat realistically down-beat in his comments prior to the match.

“We played very wearily early on in the group,” he said.

We are not the favourites. Deportivo are a strong side.”

The Dutch will not be helped by the fact that influential Mark van Bommel and Theo Lucius will be missing owing to injury and suspension, respectively. Johann Vogel’s comeback from illness though is complete and could feature.

The Spanish side could win the Group if they win by a greater margin that Monaco against AEK.

Coach Javier Irureta insisted that winning the group was his target. “I want to finish first,” he said.

Irureta will have to do so without striker Diego Trist‡n, who will be replaced by Walter Pandiani, and the injured Brazilian Mauro Silva

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