British clubs land tough European assignments

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The Independent Online

Bolton and Aberdeen were both handed stiff tests in yesterday's draw for the first knock-out round of the Uefa Cup, with Bolton being drawn against Atletico Madrid, and the Scottish side revisiting one of the proudest periods in their history with a tie against Bayern Munich.

Bolton's chief executive Allan Duckworth was chipper in the face of a daunting task. "It's a big one, but they all are at this stage," he said.

Aberdeen's director of football, Willie Miller, feels that his club's glamour tie against Bayern Munich was well earned in Thursday night's decisive 4-0 defeat of FC Copenhagen.

In his playing days Miller captained Aberdeen to victory over the German club during the triumphant European Cup Winners' Cup campaign under Alex Ferguson in 1983.

"It's a reward for a fantastic achievement," Miller said. "If we can repeat something along the same lines then we can go into the game with confidence. But we are not kidding ourselves Bayern are a top, top club."

Tottenham Hotspur, the first club to lift the Uefa Cup in 1972, after its name changed from the Fairs Cup, and triumphant again in 1984, could meet another former winning side, PSV Eindhoven, triumphant in 1978, if both clubs come through their first-round ties.

Spurs will play Slavia Prague, trounced 7-0 by Arsenal in the Champions League in October. Spurs beat Slavia Prague 2-0 on aggregate to reach the group stage of the Uefa Cup last season.

Damien Comolli, Spurs' sporting director, said: "We played them last year and know how difficult it was. We won there and at home but it was a tough game especially over there. So we know it's difficult."

PSV, who like Slavia dropped down from the Champions League, face Helsingborgs of Sweden in the round of 32.

Everton, who won all four of their group matches to qualify for the last 32, face SK Brann of Norway in the first knock-out round, then if they go through, either Rosenborg or Fiorentina in the last-16.

Uefa Cup draw

* Ties involving British sides in the last 32:

Aberdeen v Bayern Munich;

Bolton v Atletico Madrid;

Brann Bergen v Everton;

Rangers v Panathinaikos;

Slavia Prague v Spurs.

First leg: 13/14 February. Second leg: 21 February.

* Last 16 draw:

Anderlecht or Bordeaux v Aberdeen or Bayern;

Bolton or Atletico Madrid v Sporting Lisbon or Basle;

Rosenborg or Fiorentina v Brann Bergen or Everton;

Rangers or Panathinaikos v Werder Bremen or Braga;

Slavia Prague or Spurs v PSV or Helsingborgs.

First leg: 6 March.

Second leg: 12/13 March.

* Quarter-final legs: 4 April and 10 April.

* Semi-finals legs: 24 April and 1 May.

* Final: 14 May at City of Manchester Stadium.

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