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Lucescu demands 'tactical nous' from Shakhtar

FC Shakhtar Donetsk coach Mircea Lucescu describes facing European champions Chelsea FC as the "perfect motivation" as Roberto Di Matteo predicts a tough contest.

Lucescu demands 'tactical nous' from Shakhtar
Lucescu demands 'tactical nous' from Shakhtar ©UEFA.com

With his FC Shakhtar Donetsk team level on four points with Chelsea FC at the top of Group E, Mircea Lucescu knows the importance of the UEFA Champions League holders' visit to Ukraine. For his part, visiting coach Roberto Di Matteo hopes he has the measure of an opposing team and coach whose game he knows well.

Coach Mircea Lucescu
I don't really care about the entertainment aspect of our game right now, because our main goal is to get three points. For the first time since I came to Shakhtar, we are playing against the European champions. This obviously provides a perfect motivation for the players, as it's a big honour for our city and our club. I don't want to talk a lot about their game on Saturday, because I think that at the moment we are stronger than Tottenham.

Juventus and Chelsea use completely different tactics. Chelsea have two groups of players. In defence they have tall and physically strong footballers, but in midfield and attack they have very fast and technically gifted players, such as Ramires, Oscar, [Eden] Hazard, [Juan] Mata and, of cause, Fernando Torres. Maybe Chelsea need some time to get into the match, but they can certainly play quickly and cleverly.

Last season they played a different brand of football as they were concentrated on defence, hoping for set pieces and some Didier Drogba magic. However, today their style has changed, as they have bought some new players such as Oscar and Hazard. We expect that the visitors will attack a lot. I hope that our team will show tactical nous and an ability to adapt to Chelsea's game as well as they did in Turin against Juve.

Weekend result
Friday: Shakhtar 2-1 FC Illychivets Mariupil (Ilsinho 48, Chygrynskiy 53; Fomin 37)

Pyatov; Kobin (Ilsinho 46), Chygrynskiy, Rakitskiy, Shevchuk; Teixeira, Stepanenko; Costa (Srna 46), Mkhitaryan, Willian; Adriano (Dević 67).

• Shakhtar extended their winning run in the Ukrainian Premier League to 21 matches.

Team news
Lucescu has a full squad to choose from.

Manager Roberto Di Matteo

I remember Mircea Lucescu's work in Italy very well. All his teams stuck to the same philosophy – they always try to play possession football. You can see how Shakhtar pass the ball. You can see the structure of the team. They are very good tactically and they have a lot of quick players. Lucescu is an excellent coach with huge experience, and he has done very well at Shakhtar.

I'm just happy to working with my players. I have this club in my heart. I think that these players deserve all the credit after an extremely difficult season last time out. Now we have integrated new players in our system. I'm here to help, and to do my job as well as I can, and I hope that will continue for a long time.

Weekend result
Saturday: Tottenham Hotspur FC 2-4 Chelsea (Gallas 47, Defoe 54; Cahill 17, Mata 66 69, Sturridge 90+1)

Čech; Ivanović, Cahill, Luiz, Cole; Mikel, Ramires; Mata, Oscar (Sturridge 83), Hazard (Lampard 90); Torres.

• Chelsea scored four goals for the third successive game, with Juan Mata registering twice and creating another for Daniel Sturridge. 

Team news
Di Matteo said: "We haven't got any new injuries after the weekend game. I think we might play the same squad that played against Tottenham."

Match fact
Shakhtar have won three of their four home fixtures against English sides. Chelsea, facing Ukrainian opponents for the first time, have lost only two of their last 11 away group games, winning six, albeit they failed to record a victory on their travels in last year's group stage.

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