FLORENCE, ITALY - AUGUST 25: Maicosuel of Udinese Calcio scores the opening goal during the Serie A match between ACF Fiorentina and Udinese Calcio at Stadio Artemio Franchi on August 25, 2012 in Florence, Italy. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)
The UEFA Champions League playoff round resumes Tuesday with Udinese and Malaga looking to wrap up their spots in the group stage.
Only two ties in the UEFA Champions League playoff stages appear to be truly over, while about half of the ties remain close and completely unpredictable. Celtic look set to return to the group stage after a terrible 2011-12 season in Europe, while Dynamo Kiev have a surprising two-goal lead and three away goals against Borussia Mönchengladbach. CFR Cluj won 2-1 away to Basel in the first leg of their tie, and should go through. BATE Borisov and Malaga have commanding two-goal leads in their ties and denied their opponents away goals last week.
Spartak Moscow versus Fenerbahce appeared to be the most entertaining tie on paper entering the round, and they didn't disappoint. The two teams played an excellent match in Russia last week, with Dmitriy Kombarov scoring the winner in a 2-1 victory for Spartak. Fener will like their chances of overturning the result with an away goal in their pocket.
Even though they sold off most of their top players, Udinese performed well away to Braga in the first leg of their tie. They allowed the Portuguese side to score a late equalizer, but a 1-1 road draw was a great result for them. They rested most of their stars on the weekend and should be fresh for the second leg. Anderlecht-AEL, Maribor-Dinamo Zagreb and Lille-Copenhagen are the other ties that remain competitive.
Schedule (all times ET)
Anderlecht (1) vs. AEL (2) - 2:45 p.m., Tuesday
Hapoel Kiryat Shmona (0) vs. BATE Borisov (2) - 2:45 p.m., Tuesday
NK Maribor (1) vs. Dinamo Zagreb (2) - 2:45 p.m., Tuesday
Panathinaikos (0) vs. Malaga (2) - 2:45 p.m., Tuesday
Udinese (1) vs. Braga (1) - 2:45 p.m., Tuesday
Celtic (2) vs. Helsingborg (0) - 2:45 p.m., Wednesday
CFR Cluj (2) vs. FC Basel (1) - 2:45 p.m., Wednesday
Dynamo Kiev (3) vs. Borussia Mönchengladbach (1) - 2:45 p.m., Wednesday
Fenerbahce (1) vs. Spartak Moscow (2) - 2:45 p.m., Wednesday
Lille (0) vs. Copenhagen (1) - 2:45 p.m., Wednesday