x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Inter to face Bayern Munich in Champions League draw

Barcelona will play Arsenal in the last 16 of the Champions League after the draw takes place in Switzerland.

Goran Pandev, right, and Inter defeated Bayern Munich in the Champions League final in May, which enabled them to compete in the Club World Cup.
Goran Pandev, right, and Inter defeated Bayern Munich in the Champions League final in May, which enabled them to compete in the Club World Cup.

NYON, SWITZERLAND // The defending champions Inter Milan will face Bayern Munich in a re-run of last season's Champions League final after being drawn together in the first knock-out round.

Inter, who are in action in Abu Dhabi tomorrow against TP Mazembe in the Club World Cup final, beat Bayern 2-0 in Madrid in May to become European champions for the first time since 1965, but neither side has so far replicated last season's good form.

Inter are seventh in Serie A and only advanced as runner-up in the group stage, while Bayern topped a relatively weak group but is languishing in a distant sixth place in the Bundesliga.

"We're looking forward to these games," the Bayern vice chairman Karl Hopfner said. "I think we've got to make up for the past and I think the players are up for it."

Barcelona will meet Arsenal, a repeat of the 2006 final and, with four goals by Lionel Messi, outclassed 6-3 on aggregate in last season's quarter-finals, while Real Madrid play Lyon - the side that knocked the Spanish giants out at the same stage last season.

Last year's victory was Lyon's third straight defeat of Real in the Champions League, each time without conceding a goal.

"It will be very hard because Real will want to make up for last season," the Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas said. "It's a kind of revenge. It really will be special to knock them out two years in a row."

Seven-time European champions AC Milan will play Tottenham Hotspur, who won Group A ahead of Milan's city rivals Inter in their first appearance in the Champions League.

"I would have taken AC Milan before the draw," the Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp said. "They are leading the league in Italy but it has the makings of a great game over two legs. I'm looking forward to it."

Manchester United are drawn against Marseille, and Chelsea will meet FC Copenhagen.

"They're maybe the biggest club in Europe along with Real Madrid, historically speaking," the Marseille president Jean-Claude Dassier said of United. "But I think the English will suit Marseille better than Barcelona's short passing game would.

"We'll need a strong defence against the famous Wayne Rooney and the others who play with him. It will be a good atmosphere at the Velodrome and I think we have our chances."

Copenhagen, the first Danish club to make it out of the group stage, are not expected to get past a team that reached the 2008 final and won last season's Premier League.

"We must try to create a small sensation at home so tension is maintained," the FC Copenhagen coach Stale Solbakken said. "But it will be difficult. Chelsea is probably among the three, four favourites to win it all."

Shakhtar Donetsk, who won the second-tier Uefa Cup in 2009, will play Roma, while Valencia face Schalke.

The first leg matches are scheduled for February 15, with the return games the following month.