Immovable object meets irresistible force in the struggle for a place in the last four of the Uefa Cup next year, yesterday's quarter-final draw having pitted Nottingham Forest's unyielding defence against Jurgen Klinsmann and the free-scoring Bayern Munich attack.
Forest, Britain's sole survivors in Europe, have not conceded a goal in five matches since losing 2-1 in Malmo in September. Bayern, in contrast, have advanced on the strength of Klinsmann's striking prowess. The former Tottenham player, for whom the second leg next March will be his first appearance in England since he left in May, has already amassed 11 goals in this season's competition, including scoring twice in Bayern's away legs against Benfica, Raith Rovers and Lokomotiv Moscow.
He had netted four times in the first leg against Benfica in the Olympic stadium, the Munich venue which also holds inspirational memories for Forest. In 1979, with current manager Frank Clark at left-back, they beat Malmo there to win the European Cup. Forest have won the away leg of every tie against German opposition, as well as overcoming Hamburg in Madrid to retain the premier prize in 1980.
Clark now finds himself in a battle of wits with Franz Beckenbauer, Bayern's technical director, and Otto Rehhagel, the former Werder Bremen coach. Second in the Bundesliga, they look stronger than when Norwich knocked them out two seasons back. In Bavaria, Forest will be without the suspended Colin Cooper, who might well have marked the man Clark acknowledged as both main attraction and chief threat.
"Klinsmann's absolutely world-class, and when he came to Spurs he surprised a lot of people," he said. "We're not frightened of him, but Bayern are much more than a one-man team." For his part, Klinsmann seemed to confuse Forest, against whom he failed to score last season, with Wimbledon.
"They play the old British style with lots of high crosses into the box," he said. "They'll be a tough nut to crack."
Elsewhere in the Uefa Cup, Barcelona collide with PSV Eindhoven, conquerors of Leeds. Bordeaux, who survived while Monaco, Auxerre and Lyon fell to English clubs, tackle Milan. The Cup-Winners' Cup draw paired the holders, Zaragoza, with their fellow Spaniards, Deportivo La Coruna.
n Glasgow's Ibrox Stadium is under consideration as venue for the Cup- Winners' Cup final on 8 May, with the European Cup final likely to be in Rome.
EUROPEAN CUP-WINNERS' CUP Quarter-final draw: Dynamo Moscow v Rapid Vienna; Parma v Paris St-Germain; Deportivo La Coruna v Real Zaragoza; Borussia Monchengladbach v Feyenoord. (Ties to be played 7 and 19 March).
UEFA CUP Quarter-final draw: Barcelona v PSV Eindhoven; Slavia Prague v Roma; Milan v Bordeaux; Bayern Munich v Nottingham Forest. (Ties to be played 5 and 19 March).Reuse content