The Serie A sides learned their next opponents in the various draws earlier today. Milan will face Tottenham, Napoli have been paired up with Eintracht Frankfurt, while Inter with Porto in Champions League. Instead, Juventus will defy Nantes, and Roma will square off versus RB Salzburg in Europea League. Lazio and Fiorentina will take on Cluj and Sporting Braga respectively in the third continental competition.
The Rossoneri coach Stefano Pioli commented during a pre-game presser (via Tuttomercatoweb).
“They will be two tough games against a strong opponent coached by somebody who knows us well. It’s impossible to find easy opponents in the Round of 16. We’ll prepare it to the best we can. They are stimulating adversaries, and we’ll look to use our abilities. Antonio Conte is a great manager that has won everywhere he’s gone and transmits a great mentality to his squad. They are compact and ordinate with very strong players that are familiar with Serie A. I think the matches will be balanced.”
Luciano Spalletti weighed in on the club’s site.
“The pairings are all tough and difficult at this level, even though we can be pleased with avoiding PSG. But Eintracht Frankfurt are the reining Europa League champions, and they are on the rise. It surely won’t be easy.”
“The issues Nantes are going through right now don’t mean much. They will have time to prepare during the World Cup break. We have fared well in the last few Serie A matches, where we didn’t concede. Instead, things aren’t going well from the injury standpoint, but those who played did well. The stoppage will help us.”