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Lucescu seeks payback for wounded Shakhtar

Mircea Lucescu said FC Shakhtar Donetsk had been "waiting impatiently" to prove their 5-1 loss at Arsenal FC was "not fair" as the Gunners aim to seal early progress from Group H.

Lucescu seeks payback for wounded Shakhtar
Lucescu seeks payback for wounded Shakhtar ©UEFA.com

A 5-1 defeat in London on Matchday 3 has left FC Shakhtar Donetsk with a point to prove, and as UEFA Champions League Group H leaders Arsenal FC head for Ukraine, Mircea Lucescu's side are determined to show they are nobody's whipping boys. Gunners boss Arsène Wenger, meanwhile, wants to see his side take maximum points and confirm their place in the round of 16 at the earliest opportunity.

Mircea Lucescu, Shakhtar coach
We have been waiting impatiently to play Arsenal at home. I will say it again: that final score [in London] was not fair. They did not have an advantage in terms of possession; the number of shots on goal and corners was almost equal. I was not satisfied with our performance and neither were the players. We analysed the game and have paid attention to our mistakes and shortcomings. I hope our supporters and the whole of Europe will see another Shakhtar.

The early goal in London ruined our plans. We were forced to attack. When you play open football, you give your opponents space. At the same time the number of mistakes you make increases. I told my players this before the match in London, but unfortunately we weren't able to avoid it. I don't think Arsenal are stronger than Shakhtar and we will do our best to prove it.

Arsène Wenger, Arsenal manager
I expect Shakhtar Donetsk to have a reaction of course and a response from that heavy defeat. They are a better side than they showed [in London]. For me, they are one of the best European sides. On the other hand, we have a good opportunity to qualify straight away and finish top of the group and you want to take that chance. I believe as well we want to confirm that we are stepping up a gear from game to game and that we are capable of being consistent, and that is what is at stake for us.

[Donetsk] is always a difficult place [to get a result]. For example, before you always had special weather, special pitches and special conditions to travel so it was always a difficult side to play. But I must say the last time we played at Shakhtar we were already qualified and of course the focus was not exactly the same than if you have to play for qualification.

Team news
Jadson (foot) missed the weekend's Ukrainian Premier League game at FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk and is unlikely to play, while Lucescu said that Henrik Mkhitaryan might not feature again this year because of "health problems". Fernandinho is expected to be out for the group stage after breaking his right leg on 10 September.

Arsenal's injury list includes Cesc Fàbregas (hamstring), Robin van Persie (ankle), Thomas Vermaelen (Achilles), Manuel Almunia (elbow), Abou Diaby (ankle) and Emmanuel Frimpong (knee). Aaron Ramsey broke his right leg at Stoke City FC in February but has returned to training. Andrey Arshavin and Alex Song have not travelled to Ukraine

Weekend results
30/10/10 FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 0-1 Shakhtar
(Luiz Adriano 26)
Darijo Srna was sent off in added time as Shakhtar claimed their tenth victory in 11 games. They have won 18 of their 21 fixtures this term and lost just two of their last 30 matches in all competitions.

30/10/10 Arsenal 1-0 West Ham United FC
(Song 88)
Arsenal stretched their winning run to five matches in all competitions thanks to Alex Song's late goal. Song has four goals to his name this term, including one in each of his last three appearances – he scored just once in 50 outings for club and country last season.

Did you know?
In their sixth UEFA Champions League participation, Shakhtar are aiming to advance to the last 16 for the first time. In their last campaign, in 2008/09, they finished third in the group then switched to the UEFA Cup.  Shakhtar went on to win all four home contests, conceding just a single goal, en route to the Istanbul final where they lifted their first European trophy with a 2-1 extra-time defeat of SV Werder Bremen.

For more information see the match background.