Bayern boss Kovac relishing Liverpool challenge in Champions League

Niko Kovac has welcomed Bayern Munich's pairing with Liverpool in the Champions League, describing it as similar to a semi-final.

Bayern Munich head coach Niko Kovac   -  Getty Images

European heavyweights Liverpool and Bayern Munich will contest two legs in one of the Champions League last-16's showpiece ties, with the first meeting at Anfield on February 19 and the return fixture in Germany on March 13.

Bayern Munich boss Niko Kovac is excited to go up against Liverpool's "great coach" Jurgen Klopp.

Kovac, still under scrutiny following a poor start in the Bundesliga this season, gives his team an even chance of toppling the Premier League leader and progressing to the quarter-final stage.

READ | Champions League round-of-16: Draw in full

Though it only scraped through a tough Group C, Liverpool is flying domestically and manager Klopp enjoyed success against Bayern during his time at Borussia Dortmund.

"This is a great draw, a top-level clash," Kovac said.

"They have a great team and a great coach. They lost the final last year unhappily. For me, this is an anticipated semi-final.

"I'm looking forward to the game at Anfield. Having the second game at home is a small advantage. The odds are 50-50, but in two months many things could happen.

"Let's see what happens. We want to go toe-to-toe with the best teams."

ALSO READ | Klopp: Liverpool still has plenty of work to do

Hoeness re-elected

Meanwhile, Bayern president Uli Hoeness was re-elected to serve another four-year term as chairman of the club's supervisory board at Monday's annual general meeting.

Kovac welcomed the development as essential to maintaining stability. "Uli Hoeness is Bayern. He has always been a fighter and the club needs him now more than ever," the former Croatia international said.

"The fact that he wants to continue for four years shows his love for this club."

Bayern, nine points adrift of table-topper Borussia Dortmund, hosts fourth-placed RB Leipzig in a crunch Bundesliga encounter on Wednesday.

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