Inter Milan, Barcelona, AS Roma and Rangers are on the brink of qualifying in Tuesday's Champions League group matches though Arsenal and Manchester United have already reached the knockout stages. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger intends to give some of his young Gunners another chance to impress in the Group H trip to Sevilla.
England have received a welcome boost, France have injury setbacks while Scotland manager Alex McLeish claimed his team were up against it to go through in the run-up to Wednesday night's Euro 2008 qualifiers. England negotiate a tricky tie on an artificial pitch in Russia, France host Lithuania after a horrendous journey to the Faroe Islands and Scotland have an important trip to Georgia.
James McFadden's long-range goal earned Scotland a landmark 1-0 victory over France on Wednesday night to put them firmly on course for the Euro 2008 finals on a winning night for Britain. McFadden turned and shot with less than half an hour to go at the Parc des Princes to propel Scotland to the top of Group B and within sight of their first major finals in a decade.
Football legend Ferenc Puskas, one of the greatest soccer players of all time, was one of several big names in football who died during the year. Puskas, who was suffering from Alzheimer's disease and had been confined to a hospital bed for the past six years, died of respiratory and circulatory failure in November aged 79.