Nyon (AP) – Defending champion Bayern Munich booked a pleasant business trip to Lazio Rome, RB Leipzig has been electrified by the upcoming duel with Liverpool FC and coach Jürgen Klopp.
The draw for the round of 16 of the Champions League caused the expected different emotions among the German clubs. Especially since Borussia Dortmund caught an unpleasant opponent in Sevilla FC and Borussia Mönchengladbach was an immense hurdle with Manchester City.
“That’s a total of chunks the German teams have received,” said Bayern sports director Hasan Salihamidzic. Although the record champions are high favorites against Lazio, the 43-year-old spoke strongly to the current ninth in Serie A: “They are an unpleasant opponent, you saw that in the group against Dortmund. It’s always uncomfortable against Italian teams.”
The professionals led by goalscorer Robert Lewandowski were on the training ground on Säbener Straße when the Romans and top striker Ciro Immobile were pulled from the lottery pot at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon. They should have been happy that the first leg will be warmer in February. Salihamidzic was happy with the trip to Italy: “It’s always nice to travel to Rome.”
It should be much more difficult than Bayern Munich. “Liverpool have a lot of experience in this competition. We will do everything we can to make it to the quarter-finals,” said sporting director Markus Krösche and was confident: “Last season we showed that we can beat big opponents. After the draw of the group stage. we didn’t have many on our list, but we managed to do it impressively. ”
For the draw, coach Julian Nagelsmann wanted Real Madrid or Juventus Turin because “I like the anthems”. The duel with Klopp and Liverpool’s hit “You never walk alone” should also excite the 33-year-old. Especially since there is still an outstanding account. In the 2017-18 Champions League playoffs, Klopp met Liverpool with Hoffenheim, which was trained by Nagelsmann. Klopp won both matches and reached the final with Liverpool. There they lost to Real Madrid. At that point, Nagelsmann had to recognize Klopp’s tactical superiority.
Klopp’s old love Dortmund also has tough matches ahead of him. “It is an ambitious, interesting task. We meet a good opponent, but feel that we are on an equal footing,” said Managing Director Hans-Joachim Watzke. A specialist in the Europa League, Sevilla has won the competition or its predecessor UEFA Cup six times between 2006 and 2020.
It will be the first international final exam for the new head coach Edin Terzic. “Of course a very, very good opponent. It is not for nothing that Sevilla has won the Europa League more often,” said the 38-year-old, warning that other tasks are currently important at BVB due to the recent downward trend: “But there will be then many more to come. more problems to solve. “
Also in Gladbach, the subsequent duels with Manchester City after the last time in 2015 and 2016 were a bit of a minor issue. Speculation previously caused unrest, coach Marco Rose was able to move to Dortmund for the coming season. “It is now a reflex when something happens at the big clubs,” said sports director Max Eberl. “We want to go into the future with Marco Rose. That is our goal.”
And the future in Europe is primarily coach Pep Guardiola’s star ensemble. “From a sports point of view, it didn’t matter who we got in the gun. Manchester City is a super exciting fate, we’ve already had it twice in the group stage,” said Eberl. In the last game so far, Gladbach played a 1-1 after three losses.
Just like in 2014, all four German starters are in the eighth finals of Europe’s best football class. The first stages will take place on 15/16. and 23./24. February, the return leg on 9/10. and 16./17. March. Like BVB, Munich has house rights in the deciding match. The Gladbachers and Leipziger first play at home and then away. The other links are FC Barcelona against Paris Saint-Germain, Atlético Madrid against FC Chelsea, FC Porto against Juventus Turin and Atalanta Bergamo against Real Madrid.
The tasks for the German representatives in the intermediate round of the Europa League are solvable. Bayer Leverkusen will face the Swiss champion Young Boys Bern on February 18 and 25. TSG 1899 Hoffenheim takes on the Norwegians of Molde FK. Both Bundesliga clubs had come through as group winners, the Leverkusen team even as the team with the most goals in the preliminary round. The Hoffenheim are in the knockout round for the first time.