Rasmus Falk

Falk reacts to Manchester City in last-16

F.C. Copenhagen are down to meet Manchester City for the third time in European competition following the UEFA Champions League round-of-16 draw in Switzerland today.

The Lions will host the first leg in Parken in February before travelling to Manchester for the reverse tie in March.

Responding to the draw in the Viaplay studios, Rasmus Falk reckons any opponent at this stage would bring challenges for the Lions.

"They've been in a slightly better place than they are right now, but everything being equal, they play with great quality in all positions," Falk said of City.

"We have to give it a shot, but they are of course one of the most difficult opponents you can face. We are happy to start at home, because we have to try to get a result in Parken, which we have been successful inn doing this season. That would give us the opportunity to create a sensational result away from home.

"The gut feeling is that it will be really, really difficult. But I've never gone into a match where I didn't think we couldn't do something. In our group in the autumn, we faced some insanely good opponents but played well in all matches. But we have also brought in some new players who have played a lot of matches at the level required in the Champions League."

FCK first played Manchester City in the 2009 UEFA Cup. After a 2-2 draw in Parken, the Lions lost 2-1 in Manchester. Last year FCK returned to the Etihad Stadium but lost 5-0 in the Champions League group stage, before earning a 0-0 draw in Parken.

Winter break for FCK
The FCK players are already on their winter break, with training for the new year to commence in January. Preparations for the Champions League go hand-in-hand with that for the Danish Superliga, where the Lions are competing to defend their title.

It was the same scenario back in 2011 when FCK progressed to the Champions League last-16 and faced another English team. Back then Ståle Solbakken led the team through a group consisting of Barcelona, Rubin Kazan and Panathinaikos. FCK faced Chelsea in the knockout stage, lost 2-0 at home before grinding out a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge.

While City will play Premier League games over the winter, FCK have arranged friendlies to get the team back up to speed.

"It may be significant that we continue to play (over the winter) and are in the rhythm that you like to be in as footballers," added Falk.

"Our training opponents, Rangers and Sparta Prague, are teams at a very good level and also at a higher level than we have played before."


UEFA Champions League last-16 draw

FC Porto vs Arsenal
SSC Napoli vs Barcelona
PSG vs Real Sociedad
Inter vs Atlético de Madrid
PSV vs Dortmund
S.S. Lazio vs Bayern München
F.C. Copenhagen vs Manchester City
RB Leipzig vs Real Madrid