Bentley: Rovers will motor on

DAVID Bentley expects Blackburn to overturn their 2-0 deficit against Greece‘s Larissa at Ewood Park. “It was totally unacceptable with the way we performed over there,” he said. “But it is about how you react, how you respond. It is only the first half, it is 2-0 with 90 minutes to go, I don’t see 2-0 as a big deficit for us to overcome.

“You look at the players we’ve got, the creative ability, the players who can score goals — I don’t think it will be a problem for us.”

Meanwhile, Galatasaray will be among the sides hoping to avoid an upset in the UEFA Cup first-round second-leg ties tonight.

The Turkish side, who won the competition in 2000, welcome Sion to the Ali Sami Yen Stadium after a first-leg defeat in Switzerland. Galatasaray lost 3-2 in Geneva, recovering from three goals down after 31 minutes with away goals by Lincoln and Tobias Linderoth giving the Istanbul side a fighting chance.

Bayern Munich hold a 1-0 advantage ahead of the second leg with Belenenses in Lisbon, but will be without striker Miroslav Klose and goalkeeper Oliver Kahn.

Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mark van Bommel are doubts for Ottmar Hitzfeld.

Already through to the group phase of the competition are Panathinaikos, who completed a 5-1 aggregate win over Artmedia Bratislava on Tuesday.

Spanish pair Atletico Madrid and Villarreal are also likely to progress after putting four past Turkish side Erciyesspor and Belorussians BATE respectively two weeks ago.

Zenit St Petersburg hold a comfortable first-leg advantage after defeating Standard Liege 3-0 and should ensure safe progression in Belgium, while AEK Athens are 3-0 up on Salzburg.

Fiorentina may have the edge thanks to an away goal against Holland’s FC Groningen, but Sampdoria and Everton face a stiff challenge after only drawing at home to Denmark’s AaB and Ukraine’s Metalist.

AZ Alkmaar, Red Star Belgrade, Hamburg, Club Brugge, Palermo and Ajax all claimed 1-0 away wins in their first-leg matches and will be optimistic of reaching the next phase.

Empoli, Panionios, Bayer Leverkusen, Bordeaux, Getafe, Lokomotiv Moscow, Basle, Austria Vienna, Aris Salonika, Elfsborg, Rennes, Heerenveen and Hammarby — conquerors of Cork City in this summer’s Intertoto Cup — will all hope to build on first-leg leads.

Goalless from the first leg are the ties between Toulouse and CSKA Sofia, Sparta Rotterdam and OB, Nurnberg and Rapid Bucharest, Hapoel Tel-Aviv and AIK Stockholm and Aberdeen and Dnipro.

Lens travel to Copenhagen following a 1-1 first-leg draw with the Danes, while Anderlecht play Rapid Vienna with the score level at 1-1.

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