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Champions League draw: Six to watch

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16 Dec 2010 11:36:46

Champions League draw: Six to watch

INTER MILAN Infamous foe Rafa Benitez and his rants and facts sheets would ensure a fascinating and potentially explosive last 16 cocktail for United. That, of course, is if the Spaniard is still at the San Siro in 2011. Inter swept all before them last season in Italy and Europe under Jose Mourinho but the ex-Liverpool boss is having a torrid time as his successor. The Serie A champions are currently lying seventh in the Italia table a whopping 13 points behind their Milan neighbours. They scraped through to the knockouts by the skin of their teeth with a final match 1-0 success against FC Twente. And Holland's World Cup talisman Wesley Sneijder has been a disappointment since South Africa. DANGER MAN Samuel Eto'o has managed to rise above the gloom at Inter scoring nine goals for Benitez but the criticism is they are far too reliant on him AC MILAN The Rossoneri were comprehensively dispatched at the last 16 stage last season by United. The Reds won 3-2 in Italy with Wayne Rooney on fire with two goals in Milan and also another brace in the 4-0 success at Old Trafford in the second leg. Milan, though, have been looking the business in Serie A this season and are currently leading the way and hold a six point advantage over nearest rivals Juventus. Ex-City striker Robinho has pitched up at the San Siro after leaving Eastlands in August and has scored six goals this campaign. DANGER MAN Zlatan Ibrahimovic is enjoying a new lease of life on loan at Milan after falling out with Pep Guardiola at Barcelona. He has scored 13 goals in 21 matches so far this season. ROMA Another ex-Premier League foe for Fergie to pit his wits against in the form of Claudio Ranieri. The Italian was at Chelsea between 2000-2004 but the Roman-born coach is now back at the club where he began his professional career as a player in 1973. His win return percentage for Roma is his best in 22 years of management. Roma currently lie sixth in Serie A. They started badly in their group with two defeats in their opening three matches. But coming from 2-0 down against Bayern Munich to win 3-2 revived Roma and helped them into the last 16 with their place being confirmed with a final match day draw against CFR Cluj. The Reds have played Roma six times since 2007 and have won five of the ties, most memorably was the 7-1 Old Trafford destruction in April '07. DANGER MAN Marco Borriello was a disappointment at Milan but his loan spell at Roma has inspired him and he's scored four Champions League goals in six appearances this season. LYON Olympique Lyonnais are coached by Claude Puel who infamously caused controversy in February 2007 against the Reds when he was boss at Lille. After Ryan Giggs scored United's winner with a quickly taken free kick Puel appeared to encourage his side to walk off in protest. Last season he steered Lyon to their first ever Champions League semi final but they were easily seen off by Bayern Munich. DANGER MAN Argentine hitman Lisandro Lopez was Lyon's replacement for Karim Benzema when he went to Real Madrid. Won the French League's Player of the Year in his first term and this season has scored seven goals. MARSEILLE Hero turned villain Gabriel Heinze could return to Old Trafford if United draw the French Champions. The Argentinian left back was a cult hero for United until he agitated for a move to Liverpool! Fergie refused to sell him to Rafa Benitez but he switched to Real Madrid instead. Former Chelsea midfielder and French World Cup winner Didier Deschamps brought the title back to Marseille for the first time in 18 years last season but the club are currently lying in fifth place. DANGER MAN Loic Remy's switch from Nice to Marseille in the summer was almost ended by a heart defect revealed in his medical. However, he was cleared to play on and has rewarded the club with six goals. COPENHAGEN The Danes are running away with Superliga as they enter the winter break. Stale Solbakken's side are 19 points ahead of second place Odense after 19 games and have scored 50 goals in the process. United played Copenhagen in the group stages in 2006 and won comfortably 3-0 at Old Trafford but then lost 1-0 in Denmark. DANGER MAN Dame N'Doye is joint top scorer with Cesar Santin for the Danes this season but the 25-year-old Senegalese striker had two Champions League goals among his haul. Which team would you like United to draw? Have your say.


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