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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Pressure on for PSG and Fiorentina

LONDON -- Brazilian trainer Ricardo of Paris St. Germain is counting on a thirst for revenge and all-out effort from his players to help them overcome a 4-2 deficit in the Cup Winners Cup against Galatasaray on Thursday.


"The pressure is on us but I think that's a good thing," Ricardo said this week. "The players know we have to go through and they will be at 200 percent.


"They're looking for revenge and that's just the right state of mind. Honestly, we stand a chance."


In Istanbul a fortnight ago, Ricardo was without goalkeeper Bernard Lama and gifted Brazilian midfielder Leonardo, who was called up by his national team.


Lama is fit again and Leonardo should also play despite a sore ankle.


Though they still lead the French league, the ambitious Paris team was held recently at a 1-1 draw by Auxerre at Parc des Princes before suffering their first league defeat of the season at Rennes on Friday.


Galatasarsay will again rely heavily on Romanian playmaker Gheorghe Hagi, superb in the first leg, and dangerous striker Hakan Sukur, scorer of two of his side's goals.


In the first minute of the first leg, Sukur scored his 100th goal in professional soccer.


Sukur, only just returning to form after a prolonged bad patch that included a poor performance in Turkey's European championship finals debut this year, went on to score a second in the 23rd minute.


In the Czech Republic, Sparta Prague takes on Fiorentina confident their away goal in the first leg will prove vital against the heavily-favored Italians.


In rain-soaked Florence two weeks ago, Horst Siegl's 81st minute tally ensured a hotly-contested return, coming as it did after Italian strikes by Argentine Gabriel Batistuta and Swedish midfielder Stefan Schwarz.


"We could have ended up worse in the first match. But that one goal could decide the final balance of the two games," said Sparta coach Jozef Chovanec, adding that his squad will be at full strength.


Though Fiorentina followed that win by crashing out of this year's Italian Cup in a 3-1 loss to Bologna, a key 1-0 triumph over AC Milan in serie A at the weekend has restored confidence.


Fiorentina coach Claudio Ranieri is under no illusions about his side's task. "We'll have to be a tight-knit group, cynical and ready to make the most of their first mistake." Ranieri will gamble by recalling central defender Pasquale Padalino to replace the suspended Lorenzo Amoruso for his first outing of the season following a knee ligament injury sustained in mid-August training.


Fiorentina are seventh in the cramped Italian table just three points behind joint leaders Juventus and Internazionale.


Dutch league leaders PSV Eindhoven try to reverse a 2-1 away defeat by Brann Bergen of Norway without Belgian international Marc Degryse due to a leg muscle injury.


Marker Stan Valckx is expected to play, though he is not fully recovered from a groin injury, but veteran striker Rene Eykelkamp is suffering from various injuries and is doubtful.