Slowly but surely the Champions League is starting to hot up and this week sees the first legs of the second qualifying round.
The way the draw is structured, some big names are in danger of going out early, with two group-stage regulars going head-to-head on Tuesday.
While rarely expected to trouble the latter stages of the tournament, both PSV Eindhoven and Basel are no strangers to the Champions League.
However, having finished second in their respective divisions last term, they will have to do it the hard way if they are to make it into the draw for the groups.
PSV, managed by Mark van Bommel, are still in their pre-season but Basel opened their new Super League campaign on Friday with a 4-1 win at Sion.
Eindhoven face Ajax in the Johan Cruijff Schaal on Saturday and can build some momentum by coming out on top in an entertaining game.
BATE and Rosenborg had different paths to this stage, with the Belarusian champions just squeezing past Piast Gliwice. In contrast, their Norwegian counterparts smashed Linfield 6-0 on aggregate.
A trip to Borisov is never easy and, while the conditions should be favourable, the atmosphere will hardly be friendly for the Troillongan.
Eirik Horneland’s men seem to be getting their act together though after a tough start to the season, winning their last five in all competitions.
BATE themselves are in decent form and this game should have more bite, with both these teams in the midst of their domestic campaigns.
The sides look tough to split and a draw is a price that holds plenty of value.
Finally to Slovenia where PrvaLiga champions Maribor face their Swedish equivalent AIK.
The Vijolice cruised past Valur 5-0 on aggregate in the first round and will be encouraged by Rikard Norling’s men having lost their away leg against Ararat-Armenia.
Maribor lost their opening home game of the season against Triglav but bounced back with a 2-0 success against Valur and, a bit like BATE, will hope for a fiery atmosphere.
AIK are decent away from home but that poor showing on the road in the last round does not bode well.
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