Champions League draw impetus for Inter improvement
European champions Inter Milan go into the Champions League first knockout round draw on Friday hoping their form will have greatly improved by the time they face their last 16 opponents when it restarts in February.sports Updated: Dec 17, 2010 10:45 IST
European champions Inter Milan go into the Champions League first knockout round draw on Friday hoping their form will have greatly improved by the time they face their last 16 opponents when it restarts in February.
Inter, who have struggled for most of the season under Rafa Benitez and finished as runners-up in the group stage, will face a group winner when the draw takes place at UEFA's headquaterers in Nyon, Switzerland.
At least Inter are still in their competition to defend the crown they won last year. Europa League winners Atletico Madrid were knocked out of their tournament on Thursday.
The Champions League draw starts at 1200CET (1100GMT), followed by the 32-team Europa League knockout round draw 90 minutes later.
The group stage survivors in the Champions League not only include Inter, but also favourites Barcelona, nine-time winners Real Madrid, Schalke 04 and Bayern Munich from Germany and the Premier League quartet of Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal.
The group winners have the advantage of being drawn at home in the second leg.
The final is at Wembley Stadium on May 28 while the Europa League final takes place in Dublin on May 18.