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Bayern face Inter rematch, other German sides get easier draws in Europe

Bayern need to succeed where they failed in last year’s Champions League final after drawing Inter Milan in the round of 16. Schalke, Stuttgart and Leverkusen, meanwhile, were handed less formidable foes in Europe.

Mark van Bommel and Esteban Cambiasso

Bayern will want to get the better of Inter Milan this time out

Bayern fans will be wary of their team’s next test in the Champions League as the club were handed a difficult tie with cup holders Inter Milan.

They will also be looking for revenge in the two-legged match, having lost to Inter in last year’s final.

Bayern Sporting Director Christian Nerlinger was quick to confirm the club was relishing a chance to reverse last year’s defeat.

Bayern fan crying

Bayern fans hope this season's encounter doesn't end in tears

"We still dwell a little on the lost final in Madrid and now we have the opportunity with these two new matches against Inter to put things right," said Nerlinger. "It's going to be difficult, but it couldn't be more interesting for us."

Having won their qualifying Group E, the Bavarians avoided many of the tournament’s strongest sides - but didn’t miss Inter, who finished a somewhat surprising second to Tottenham Hotspur in Group A.

Bayern President Karl-Heinz Rummenigge spoke for most when he called Inter "without a doubt the most difficult we could have drawn."

Schalke luckier

The growing Spanish faction at Gelsenkirchen side Schalke will be looking forward to the club’s match against Valencia.

With Spaniards Raul, Jose Manuel Jurado and Sergio Escudero in the squad, along with Christian Metzelder and Klaas Jan Huntelaar, who have experience playing in the Spanish top flight, Schalke can count on a good deal of insight into the playing style of the club from Spain’s Mediterranean coast.

“It’s an attractive, and at the same time difficult draw,” said Schalke’s coach and general manager Felix Magath. “All the same, it’s our goal to get past Valencia.”

The two teams squared off in the group stage in the fall of 2007, when Valencia got the better of Schalke, beating them in Germany and drawing at home.

But as Schalke defender Benedikt Hoewedes pointed out, just as Schalke is a much different team to three years ago, so is Valencia.

“They’ve lost two very strong players in David Silva and David Villa,” said Hoewedes.

The round of 16 draw in full

Champions League round of 16 pairings

The other cup

German sides Bayer Leverkusen and VfB Stuttgart found out their opponents in the Europa League round of 32 on Friday.

Group H winners Stuttgart face a rather tough test in Benfica, the Portuguese champions who dropped out of Schalke’s group in the Champions League.

Leverkusen, who won Group B, will fancy their chances against the relatively inexperienced Ukrainian club Metallist Kharkov, second place finishers in Group I.

The Europa League round of 32 fixtures are two-legged matches set for February 17th and 24th, or 15th and 22nd.

Author: Matt Hermann (AFP/SID)
Editor: Rob Turner

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