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Barca attack picking up steam

Barcelona about an hour ago
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By ESPN Staff
Aug 14, 2007

Toulouse planning hot reception for Liverpool

Liverpool have been told they will be made to 'suffer' in the heat by Toulouse skipper Nicolas Dieuze ahead of their Champions League qualifier.

Last season's beaten finalists face a tough test in south France in the hottest part of the day, mid-afternoon, on Wednesday.

Considering Toulouse are are two games into their league programme - and arguably ahead of Liverpool in terms of preparation - the temperature could be a significant factor in the third qualifying round first leg.

Dieuze said: 'Given how hot it will be, and the fact we have had more preparation time than them, we hope we can make them suffer.'

Dieuze added that he believes Toulouse can produce 'something special' having beaten French champions Lyon 1-0 in the Municipal Stadium on Saturday.

It is Toulouse's first foray into European competition for 20 years after Elie Baup guided them to third place in the French league last term.

Dieuze added: 'We have great faith in our coach, we will follow his instructions. Baup knows all about European football and he can guide us to something special.'

Toulouse are looking to make the most of their day in the sun. The rugby town has not felt such excitement about a football fixture since Diego Maradona's Napoli were knocked out of the UEFA Cup in 1986-87 - and the locals are hoping for a similar upset.

With striker Johan Elmander back in form after scoring on Saturday, Baup's biggest concern comes at centre-back where regular pairing Dominique Arribage and Daniel Congre have long-term injuries and Hirita Ilunga is suspended.

Dieuze should partner Mauro Cetto, though the pair have never played together before. Midfielder Fabinho, meanwhile, is doubtful after sustaining a neck injury in training today.

Young goalkeeper Nicolas Douchez has impressed this term, along with Cameroon midfielder Achille Emana.

For Toulouse, it is their first time in the Champions League, and they qualified in controversial circumstances as they moved from seventh to third on the last day.

They had a poor run-in, losing four on the trot but their luck turned on the penultimate weekend of the campaign.

They were drawing 0-0 with now-relegated Nantes when the match was called off with four minutes remaining after a pitch invasion. Toulouse were later awarded all three points.

They then duly won their final game and their third-placed finish was assured when Lille scored an added-time equaliser to rob Rennes of a top-three spot.