Icelandic duo Breidablik and Valur Reykjavík have been given tough last-32 draws against FCF Juvisy Essonne and Rayo Vallecano de Madrid but both their coaches are relishing the challenge.
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For the first time Iceland has two teams in the UEFA Women's Champions League knockout stage, but the coaches of Breidablik and Valur Reykjavík feel they have received tough round of 32 tests.
Breidablik are well familiar with their opponents on 22/23 September and 13/14 October - last season's French runners-up FCF Juvisy Essonne - having draw 3-3 at home to that side earlier this month in the qualifying round to ensure both sides went through. Valur, who beat Breidablik to last season's title, were one of the 16 seeds but have formidable opponents in Rayo Vallecano de Madrid.
The Breidablik coach Jóhannes Karl Sigursteinsson, whose team will be at home in the first leg, told UEFA.com: "We were of course little bit disappointed meeting the same team as in qualifying because part of the enjoyment in this tournament is meeting new and different teams. But there are advantages – preparing is easier because we know what we are up against and have the games on video. There is also the advantage that travelling to Paris is easy and this will be a positive trip.
"We have a good chance against them, we know they have a strong team as we found out in the 3-3 draw in a good game in Kopavogur but we also know we have to have two good performances to succeed - after all both the games will start 0-0. There have been some changes in my team but I trust the players completely. We saw in the qualifying game that with a well-organised plan we can win."
As champions, Valur did not need to go through qualifying and are riding high at home having beaten UMF Stjaran 1-0 to retain the Icelandic Cup at the weekend, while they are on course to defend their league title, five points clear with four games left. They fell in the UEFA Women's Champions League round of 32 last year to ASD Torres Calcio and coach Freyr Alexandersson is looking forward to their test against the Spanish champions, with a possible last-16 tie against Arsenal LFC on the horizon.
"I am pleased getting this team even though I know they are a good team getting better," he said. "We could have been luckier in the draw and I would have liked a weaker team because in our plan we saw four teams as the best and Rayo Vallecano were in that group. Anyway, this is good and we are pleased; there are many positive things in this. It is a challenging task and gives us certain possibilities. There is absolutely no doubt this is good for my team, and will make a fine end to our season, but of course we expect to go further and meet Arsenal in November."