Soccer: Juventus face stiff Bayern challenge
Turin giants get tough draw for Champions League quarter-finals15 March, 17:55
The German giants, who lost to Chelsea in last season's final and knocked out Arsenal in the last 16, look sure to cause more problems than Glasgow side Celtic, who Juve turfed out 5-0 on aggregate in the previous round.
"The Germans are difficult to play against and difficult to beat because they never give up," Juventus director and former player Pavel Nedved told Sky television.
"Bayern are one of the scariest teams that we could have got. They are experienced and very good".
Bayern have been crowned European Champions four times, most recently in 2001.
Juve, European champions in 1985 and 1996, will consider themselves unlucky as several of the teams in the draw, such as Turkey's Galatasaray, Spain's Malaga and Germany's Borussia Dortmund, looked far easier prospects. But the Italian champions have at least avoided tournament favourites Barcelona, who thumped AC Milan 4-0 in the last-16 return for a stunning comeback after losing the first leg 2-0, and Real Madrid. Juve will travel to Bavaria for the first leg on Tuesday April 2 and the return in Turin will be on Wednesday April 10.
Barcelona will take on Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid face Galatasaray and Malaga meet Borussia Dortmund in the other quarter-finals. Nedved played down talk of Juve, who are nine clear at the top of Serie A, winning the Champion League.
"We must not walk before we can run," said the Czech. "I'm happy that we are here". Italy's other remaining challenger in European competition, Lazio, were drawn against Turkish side Fenerbahce in the Europa League quarter-finals. The Rome side will have to play the home leg behind closed doors on April 11 after being handed a two-match stadium ban from European soccer's governing body UEFA for racism by some fans. The ban was imposed along with a 40,000-euro fine following a February match against Germany's Borussia Moenchengladbach when a group of Lazio fans gave a Fascist straight-armed salute.
The ban was the latest in a series of sanctions from UEFA for racist gestures by fans at previous games this season. These included fans chanting 'Juden Tottenham' during a group-stage match in November. Fans of London side Tottenham take pride in having a Jewish identify even though their followers come from a variety of religious and ethnic backgrounds. The incident took place a day after a group of Tottenham fans were brutally set upon by masked thugs in a central Rome pub, an attack that was linked to anti-Semitism. Lazio served the first part of the stadium ban on Thursday, when they beat VfB Stuttgart 3-1 at an empty Stadio Olimpico to complete a 5-1 aggregate win in the last 16. The Romans are the only Italians in the competition after Inter Milan beat Tottenham 4-1 on Thursday but went out on away goals, having losing the first leg 3-0.