Linfield FC (NIR) v FK Ventspils (LAT)
NSÍ Runavík (FAR) v FHK Liepajas Metalurgs (LAT)
Rhyl FC (WAL) v FK Atlantas (LIT) FK Ekranas (LIT) v Cork City FC (IRL)
Esbjerg fB (DEN) v FC Flora (EST) FC TVMK Tallinn (EST) v Myllykosken Pallo-47 (FIN)
Can anyone tell me more about Skonto? i know they are one of the best if not the best team in Latvian football history but how good are they this year and what do you think about facing FK Rabotnicki of Macedonia.
They have only played in Europe once before and lost twice in the UEFA Cup, but that was not a very good team compared to this one they have right now, all this team is missing now is experience other then that they have some great young talent including there goalie Madzovski who is starting for the Macedonia NT. They have a couple fans who are in there supporters group Romanticari www.romanticari.tk and im sure they will come and tell you more about there team and what to expect.
Well, Skonto holds world record of consecutive championship titles (14), they are winning them probably from the same year Latvian league (and Skonto itself) was found in 1991. Though few times they were lucky to snatch it from Ventspils or Metalurgs.
Skonto is the only Baltic team that made it to the 3rd qualifying round (in 99/00), losing to Chelsea 0-3 and 0-0. They also went out in second round (of 2 held) in 97/98 to Barcelona, but got a very decent result 2-3 at Nou Camp and lost 0-1 at home. Though since Skonto/Latvia NT manager left for Spartak Moscow, they don't look in position to keep their record going on.
However, they are still favourites of this CL tie.
I think Skonto is a bit weaker than the other years. At least, obviously, they do not have theirs hands on the Latvian championship anymore. Last year was quite lucky. But this year Metalurgs seems to be the strongest. However they are still feeding the National team.