Thursday 14 December 2017

Van Gaal out to settle score with Inter

IN MAY, Inter Milan beat Bayern Munich in some comfort to lift the Champions League trophy but Louis van Gaal's team will fancy their chances of revenge against the holders, who are struggling to match the heights of last season.

Should they do so, the pressure on manager Rafael Benitez will rise, even if his Inter team, as expected, win the FIFA Club World Cup final against unexpected finalists TP Mazembe, of DR Congo, in Qatar today.

"We still have scores to settle with Inter," said Van Gaal.

"Almost all the players who played in May are still with Bayern."

Inter president Massimo Moratti said: "It's an interesting draw. For them it will be a way to avenge that defeat.

"We have faced Bayern many times and it is a historic showdown but it's early days to make a judgment.

"We will have to wait and see in what condition -- physically and psychologically -- both teams arrive to the games."

Benitez added: "I think it will be interesting for the fans and for the stars that experienced the final in Madrid. Bayern Munich are a fantastic team, led by a great coach."

Benitez's predecessor Jose Mourinho faces Lyon: a relatively straight-forward task in theory, except Lyon knocked out Real Madrid at this stage last season. Lyon are also set to come against former striker Karim Benzema.

Another former Chelsea manager, Claudio Ranieri, takes Roma to Ukraine to play Shakhtar Donetsk.

The remaining tie pits Valencia against Schalke.

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