United eye Red road to Wembley in Champions League
The road to Wembley opens up on Friday when United discover their Champions League last-16 task in Switzerland. The UEFA draw for the first knockout stage means the countdown to that London date on May 28 gets underway in earnest. The Reds have six opponents they could face in the February 2011 ties. Of the half dozen potential match-ups, half are with Italian clubs with European champions Inter Milan, their neighbours AC Milan and Roma all possibilities for Sir Alex Ferguson's side. United also have good chance of visiting France with Ligue 1 champions Marseille and Lyons in the pot. FC Copenhagen make up the list of potential opponents. And there are some familiar faces who could be visiting Old Trafford among them Inter's ex-Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez, United old boy Gabriel Heinze (Marseille) and City old boy Robinho, now plying his trade for Milan in Serie A. Reds boss Fergie, however, is just keen to ensure he has the tools in the New Year to tackle the job. The important thing is hopefully we are in good form by that time and we have a strong squad to choose from, he said. These are the important issues. It doesn't matter who you play then. We have been to Milan three times now in the last four years. We played AC twice and Inter once. Sometimes you get into a cycle of playing teams all the time. There was a period when we first got into the Champions League when we were playing Juventus. We played them two or three years in a row. Ryan Giggs has been a part of all United's Champions League adventures but still gets a buzz when the knockout draw comes around. You look forward to all the excitement of the draw, he said. This is when the Champions League starts properly. You see the teams that are left in the draw and there is so much history there. There are also so many teams capable of winning it. United are fourth favourites to lift the trophy at Wembley behind Barcelona, Real Madrid and Chelsea. How far will United go in this season's Champions League? Have your say.
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