fbpx

Written By Onyeka Daniel

Today, the draw for the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League was made and it indeed was an exciting one, most especially for Italian teams remaining in the competition as AC Milan got knocked down to the Europa League, leaving Inter Milan, Lazio and Napoli in the next round.

More Details

For the Nerazzurri, who got to the final of last season’s edition, they got Spanish powerhouse, Atletico Madrid after placing second behind Real Socieded in their group. Lazio, who placed second the Los Rojiblancos, got Bayern Munich. For Napoli, they were behind Real Madrid in their group and got another Spanish side, Barcelona in the Round of 16.

For Inter coach, Simone Inzaghi, he revealed that his squad ‘want to try to dream again’ after drawing Atletico Madrid. Inzaghi rotated his squad in the group stage, allowing them to maintain momentum in Serie A as well. Atletico topped Group E, finishing above Lazio by four points.

Inter have only ever played the Spanish side once in the past, suffering a 2-0 loss in the UEFA Super Cup final back in August 2010. Speaking to Inter’s media department, Inzaghi first reacted to Inter’s draw against Atletico in the Champions League Round of 16. “It will be a great Round of 16, with two high-quality teams level in two beautiful stadiums that will have a large audience. We’re happy because we continue to face such important matches in Europe with continuity.”


LATEST POSTS

Copa America 2024: Peru Vs Chile Match Preview

Euro 2024 Group E: Slovakia Vs Ukraine

NWSL Players’ Association To The Rescue On Sophia Smith’s Additional Suspension

With The Growing Interest In Two Of Their Midfielders, Juventus Looking At Options In The Transfer Market


He touched on the qualities of the Spanish club and why they cannot be underestimated. “They have played two finals in the last ten years and have a great tradition in this competition, our club is no different and we want to try to dream again to give another joy to our fans. “The Atletico coach, among other things, is Diego Simeone, a great coach with whom I have an excellent relationship. I won a lot with him, including a Scudetto with Lazio.”

Finally, Inzaghi discussed his intention to return focus to Serie A for the next month. “Now we’ll focus on the next month, we’ll play important matches in the league, and we’ll also have the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italiana. Then we will think about preparing these two big matches, they will be two battles, we will work to be ready.” Inter vice president, Javier Zanetti also gave his thoughts on Inter’s draw with Atletico.

“Atletico are a difficult team to face, I know Simeone very well, we were teammates, we’re friends. I know how he prepares for matches, they’ll be two great matches between two great teams. “There were so many great teams, we knew it could be a complicated draw. We have great respect for Atletico, we know their history and their culture.

“We know how they prepare, they will be difficult to beat. But we are in a position to play two great games and we will be ready. The matches are complicated both at home and away, doing well at San Siro will be important, but it will be a balanced double match. “There are great players, we hope to be in shape when it comes to the match. We’re happy with Lautaro, he’s scoring a lot. We’re happy because he always manages to convey a lot of desire to his teammates too.”

The dates and times of the upcoming Champions League Round of 16 ties have now been confirmed. The first leg fixtures will all take place on the second and third Tuesdays and Wednesdays of the month of February, while the second legs are scheduled a few weeks later, across the first two weeks of March.

Lazio will be the first of the three Italian sides in action, hosting Bayern at the Stadio Olimpico on Valentine’s day, Wednesday February 14. The return leg will take place several weeks later on Tuesday March 5.

Inter will welcome Atletico to San Siro Tuesday, February 20, before travelling to the Spanish capital for the reverse fixture on Wednesday March 13. Napoli will also be at home first against Barcelona, with the clash at the Stadio Maradona set for Wednesday February 21. The Partenopei’s trip to Catalonia will fall on Tuesday, March 12.

Meanwhile…

Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri expects a ‘fascinating challenge’ against Barcelona in their Champions League Round of 16 battle. The Partenopei, who started the season under Rudi Garcia before switching to Mazzarri last month, secured a second-place finish in Group C, finishing eight points behind Real Madrid and six ahead of SC Braga.

Napoli have looked off the mark this season compared to their high-flying success last term, but the mood has started to improve under Mazzarri after their slow start to proceedings under Garcia. Speaking to Napoli’s media department, Mazzarri reacted to Napoli’s Champions League Round of 16 draw with Barcelona.

Read Also: Juventus Looking At Several Midfield Options Including Real Madrid Star

“I said after the match against Cagliari that all the teams who’ve qualified for the Round of 16 are strong and therefore any draw would be difficult, this one against Barcelona is especially difficult. For Napoli it’ll be a fascinating challenge.” Mazzarri has overseen six Napoli matches so far this season, securing wins over Cagliari, Braga and Atalanta.

But suffering losses to Juventus, Inter and Real Madrid. Barcelona have looked a little inconsistent this campaign, sitting seven points behind league leaders Real Madrid in La Liga. Xavi’s side topped a Champions League group containing Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk and Royal Antwerp.

Champions League Round of 16 fixtures and dates

Lazio vs. Bayern – Wednesday, February 14.

Bayern vs. Lazio – Tuesday, March 5.

Inter vs. Atletico – Tuesday, February 20.

Atletico vs. Inter – Wednesday March 13.

Napoli vs. Barcelona – Wednesday, February 21.

Barcelona vs. Napoli – Tuesday, March 12.

Do you have a story tip?
Kindly Email: keepup@bettitude.com

You can also follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTube

Bookmark (0)
ClosePlease login

About Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Be in the Know! Subscribe To BettiSports Daily Newsletter