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St Gallen face tough UEFA Cup challenge

Chelsea striker Gianfranco Zola beats St Gallen's Daniel Imhof during the first match in England. Keystone / PA / Rebecca Naden

St Gallen take on Chelsea on Thursday in the second leg of their UEFA Cup match with the Swiss side trailing by a single goal. Basel and Lausanne both head abroad with narrow leads while FC Zurich have to overcome their home defeat in the first leg.

This content was published on September 27, 2000 - 14:07

St Gallen's opponents are one of the English Premier League's top teams. Chelsea, despite a sluggish start to the season and the subsequent sacking of manager Gianluca Vialli, have picked up recently, holding Manchester United to a draw at Old Trafford this weekend.

St Gallen will have to overcome their one-goal disadvantage away from their home ground. The Hardturm in Zurich, which is in conformity with UEFA rules, will host the match.

St Gallen's trainer, Marcel Koller has his entire team at his disposal with only the defender Dal Santo and midfielder Nixon complaining of slight knee problems. The Swiss team will have to display more spirit in front of the opposition goal than they did in the away leg to have any chance of qualifying for the next round.

Lausanne head to Moscow with a 3-2 advantage against local side Torpedo. Lausanne's trainer, Pierre-André Schurmann will try to erase the memory of last year's European nightmare in Spain.

The Vaud team were knocked out of the competition despite having won their home leg 4-0 against Celta Vigo. Lausanne will try and exploit Torpedo's defensive weaknesses.

Basel are heading to Norway, were they take on Brann Bergen. The Swiss could rue the missed goal opportunities during the first half of the home leg.

Bergen are enjoying a good run in their national league. Basel's defenders are expected to carry the match for their side, as the strikers have shown themselves to be inefficient during their last outings.

Zurich may live to regret their loss at home against Belgium's Racing Genk. Their fruitless domination of the match, undone by a Belgian free kick goal in the last minute of the game, has put the Swiss team in the position of the pursuer, rather than having to defend an advantage.

There was some good news for Zurich though. Goalkeeper Marco Pascolo is back, hoping to show 10 days before a match with the national team that his thigh injury is forgotten.

swissinfo with agencies

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