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Wednesday, December 16, 1998 Published at 14:22 GMT

Sport: Football

United face Italian giants

United face the likes of Ronaldo at Old Trafford

The European draws for the European Cup and the Cup Winners' Cup have taken place with Manchester United facing Inter Milan and Chelsea drawing Norway's Valerenga.

Alex Dalton: It's going to be a slog for one of the teams
United, who qualified as one of two best runner's up and only managed two wins in their group - both against Brondby - face Inter at Old Trafford with Brazilian striker Ronaldo hoping to feature in a side that could also include Roberto Baggio.

Inter, who finished second in Serie A last season, topped European champions Real Madrid to win Group C.

Chelsea v Valerenga

Chelsea's Scandinavian odyssey will continue after they were draw against Valerenga.

David Oates rounds up the draw (BBC Radio 5 Live)
Gianluca Vialli's side have already beaten Helsinborg of Sweden and FC Copenhagen in the defence of their trophy.

And they now face another tough tie against the Norwegian cup holders with the first leg at Stamford Bridge on March 4 and the return leg in Oslo a fortnight later.

Valerenga, who play in the 25,000 capacity Ulleval National Stadium, are coached by former Norwegian national coach Egil Olsen and have had a remarkable turn around in fortunes in recent years.

The draws are announced on BBC Radio 5 Live
They were relegated to the second division for the 1997/98 season but not only gained promotion to the top flight at the first attempt, but also defeated Stromsgodset, 4-2 in the Norwegian Cup final.

Olsen's side currently lie seventh in the first division and are somewhat surprise quarter finalists, having beaten fancied outsiders Besiktas of Turkey 4-3 on aggregate in the previous round.

'Tough test'

[ image: Ronaldo: Set to grace Old Trafford]
Ronaldo: Set to grace Old Trafford
United chief executive Martin Edwards admitted they had been handed a "tough" draw against Inter.

United could have paired with easier opponents in the draw for the last eight, but Edwards claimed any one of their five possible quarter-final opponents would have been difficult to beat.

"It's a tough draw and it's a great draw in one sense because of Inter Milan's reputation," he said.

Martin Edwards: It'll be a great occasion (BBC Radio 5 Live)
"If you are going to win the European Cup you have to be prepared to play the best teams at some stage.

"Italian teams have proved in recent years that they are among the strongest in Europe, while Inter Milan are a really good side who have arguably the world's best player in Ronaldo.

European Draws:

European Cup
Real Madrid (Spa) v Dynamo Kiev (Ukr)
Man Utd (Eng) v Inter Milan (Ita)
Juventus (Ita) v Olympiakos (Gre)
Bayern Munich (Ger) v Kaiserslautern (Ger)

First leg ties to be played Wednesday 3 March
Second leg ties to be played Wednesday 17 March

Cup Winners' Cup
Chelsea (Eng) v Valerenga (Nor)
Lokomotiv Moscow (Rus) v Maccabi Haifi (Isr)
Varteks (Cro) v Real Mallorca (Spa)
Lazio (Ita) v Panionios (Gre)

First leg ties to be played Thursday 4 March
Second leg ties to be played Thursday 18 March

UEFA Cup quarter-final
Marseille (Fra) v Celta Vigo (Spa),
Bologna (Ita) v Lyon (Fra)
Bordeaux (Fra) v Parma (Ita)
Atletico Madrid (Spa) v AS Roma (Ita)

Ties to be played on 2 March and 16 March

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