UEFA Cup quarter-final draw

Jol acknowledges quality of Man City

March 20, 2009

Hamburg boss Martin Jol feels his side will be up against one of the best six sides in England when they take on Manchester City in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup.

GettyImagesHSV-Coach Martin Jol

The second leg at Eastlands will mean a return to England for former Tottenham manager Jol, while the game will also mean a a reunion with former team-mates for City midfielders Vincent Kompany and Nigel de Jong.

Kompany left the HSV-Arena for the Premier League last August, with De Jong making the same move in the January transfer window.

The duo are just two of a host of new faces City boss has brought into the club, and Jol feels they are now a force to be reckoned with.

"Manchester City are a team that for me are among the best six in England," he told the club's website.

"They are very strong in every area of the team. I am therefore convinced that we will see two good games. Our goal in the semi-finals."

Both sides endured far from comfortable paths into the last eight, Hamburg coming from two goals down to beat Galatasaray 3-2 in Istanbul and City taken to penalties by Aab Aalborg.

Mark Hughes' men had goalkeeper Shay Given to thank for two saves in the shoot-out after they had conceded twice late in normal time to see their 2-0 advantage from the first leg wiped out.

On drawing Hamburg, Hughes said: "At this stage of the competition, it's always going to be difficult because there are no weak teams in the last eight. I think this is the plum tie to come out of the draw.

"There's the connection with Hamburg with us having Vincent and Nigel here, and we played them in pre-season which should help our preparations," he added on the club's website. "We are a very different side from then to now, and we can look forward to this with confidence."

Friday's draw in Nyon also saw the two French sides left in the competition both paired with eastern European opposition, with Paris St Germain hosting Dynamo Kiev and Marseille travelling to Shakhtar Donetsk in the first legs of their clashes.

Udinese, the last Italian club left in European competition this season, travel to another German side, Werder Bremen.

Bremen have already seen off AC Milan earlier in the competition, but sporting director Klaus Allofs believes Udinese will pose no less of a threat.

He said: "In Udinese we are meeting a team with great international experience, but we also have that. This will be an interesting comparison.

"But no-one should fall into the trap of thinking that we now have an easy game, because we have beaten the 'big AC Milan' and Udinese are not rated so high in the eyes of the public. Neither of these games will be a walkover."

A north German derby could be on the cards in the semi-finals, with Hamburg and Bremen due to meet if they can get past City and Udinese respectively.

The other last-four clash could be either an all-Ukrainian or all-French affair, with the winner of PSG and Kiev facing either Shakhtar or Marseille.