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Udinese and Zürich thrilled with league route draw

Published: Friday 5 August 2011, 15.54CET
Figures from the ten clubs in the league route have given their response to today's play-off draw, with FC Zürich's Urs Fischer saying playing FC Bayern München is "an absolute dream".
Udinese and Zürich thrilled with league route draw
Zürich coach Urs Fischer was a happy man after the draw in Nyon ©Getty Images
Published: Friday 5 August 2011, 15.54CET

Udinese and Zürich thrilled with league route draw

Figures from the ten clubs in the league route have given their response to today's play-off draw, with FC Zürich's Urs Fischer saying playing FC Bayern München is "an absolute dream".

FC Zürich coach Urs Fischer described his team's UEFA Champions League play-off tie against four-time winners FC Bayern München as "a dream draw" while Udinese Calcio president Giampaolo Pozzothinks meeting Arsenal FC "will be a fascinating adventure". Their positive outlook was not matched by Odense BK trainer Henrik Clausen, however, who said Villarreal CF are "the worst possible" obstacle to his club's chances of reaching the group stage for the first time.

Getting into the Champions League is the dream of our lives and we're going to fight to do so
Juan Carlos Garrido, Villarreal coach
It's a fascinating adventure for us; it's like going for the first time to New York. Arsenal are a club with a lot of history and we are happy to face them
Giampaolo Pozzo, Udinese president
This is an absolute dream draw for FC Zürich. It doesn't come any better than this
Urs Fischer, Zürich coach

UEFA.com rounds up the reaction to the five ties in the league route.

Odense BK v Villarreal CF
Henrik Clausen, OB coach
This is pretty much the worst possible draw − Villarreal are a top team in Spain. It would have been difficult no matter who we had drawn, but I would have preferred Bayern München, who play in a style that is similar to ours. Villarreal have been improving over the last decade and they have been in a Champions League semi-final, so they are definitely a top team. Playing at home first could be good for us because we might be able to get a result on which we can build in the second leg.

Juan Carlos Garrido, Villarreal coach
Talk of being favourites isn't worth anything. Odense eliminated a very strong team in Panathinaikos, who would have been considered favourites to get through in the last round. This serves as a warning to us that our rivals are going to demand that we be at our very best. What we have to do now is to get focused and to take advantage of these days of preparation we have [in England] so we can arrive in the best possible condition on the 17th. Getting into the Champions League is the dream of our lives and we're going to fight to do so. We know that we must work exceptionally hard to achieve that goal.

FC Twente v SL Benfica
Willem Janssen, Twente midfielder
We knew that all possible opponents would be tough but maybe against Benfica we have the best chance. Arsenal, Villarreal and Bayern München are from a higher level but the fact remains that Benfica are an excellent team. They are a great side with a great history, but we have also become a club that is not taken for granted.

Pedro Coelho, Benfica director
It's going to be a very tough play-off, but that's what you expect at this stage of the competition. It's going to be a very close match that is decided by [small] details. They are starting the season at the same time as us so we are at the same stage of preparation, although they've already won one competition this season, beating Ajax in the Dutch Super Cup. We have to play home and away so whether you play home or away first makes no difference.

Arsenal FC v Udinese Calcio
David Miles, Arsenal secretary
We've never played Udinese in UEFA competition before, so we're very much looking forward to it. We won't take anything for granted or underestimate anyone, because it is so important for clubs to progress through to the group stage.

Giampaolo Pozzo, Udinese president
It's a fascinating adventure for us; it's like going for the first time to New York. Arsenal are a club with a lot of history and we are happy to face them. All games are difficult at this level, but the more famous our opponents the more our players will give on the pitch. We have to be philosophical with the draw − after all, the five teams we could have met were all very strong. Regardless of the result, it will be an historic moment for our club, the coach and the players, who know this.

FC Bayern München v FC Zürich
Jupp Heynckes, Bayern coach
It's a reasonable draw. We have a pretty good chance of reaching the group stage and I'm happy we will not have that much travel stress. Swiss football has a high status and Zürich finished just one point behind Basel last season, which tells you the quality of the club. We will observe their performance at the weekend very closely because sometimes the alleged weaker team ends up being the stronger one.

Urs Fischer, Zürich coach
This is an absolute dream draw for FC Zürich. It doesn't come any better than this but I don't want to talk about our chances of going through. At the moment we are only thinking about the league.

Olympique Lyonnais v FC Rubin Kazan
Rémi Garde, Lyon coach
Kazan is not an easy draw. They've been an up-and-coming team for the last three or four years and there isn't a question mark against them anymore after they defeated Barcelona at the Camp Nou [in 2009]. Even though they've never advanced from the group stage, they've acquired some good experience.

Kurban Berdyev, Rubin coach
We've been drawn against very serious opponents. Lyon are always in the Champions League group stage and are an ambitious side with a great squad. It will be immensely difficult to get past such a powerful club but we will do our best to study Lyon as thoroughly as possible and get ourselves well prepared. We understand how tough it is going to be for us but there are no easy draws at this stage of the competition.

Last updated: 05/08/11 20.29CET

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