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Shakhtar realistic about Barcelona prospects

Mircea Lucescu admitted that FC Shakhtar Donetsk's chances of overcoming their 5-1 deficit are "very small", but FC Barcelona coach Josep Guardiola feels "that the tie is not already won".

Mircea Lucescu makes his point during the Shakhtar press conference
Mircea Lucescu makes his point during the Shakhtar press conference ©Getty Images

With the odds stacked against FC Shakhtar Donetsk following their 5-1 loss to FC Barcelona last week, Mircea Lucescu wants his players to enjoy their quarter-final decider and gain more "priceless experience" for their likely return to the UEFA Champions League next season. Though the Shakhtar coach admitted his side have a "very small" chance of progressing, opposite number Josep Guardiola repeated his belief that the tie is not already won.

Mircea Lucescu, Shakhtar coach
We have huge problems in defence. [Răzvan] Raţ is suspended, [Dmytro] Chygrynskiy still isn't ready and [Olexandr] Chyzhov and [Olexandr] Kucher haven't completed their recoveries yet. It looks like [Mykola] Ishchenko will play. As you may remember, he played against Barcelona at home two-and-half years ago.

I hope the players will do their best to get a proper result. Of course, our chances of getting through are very small, but we want to find a decent way out of this difficult situation. This Champions League season is priceless experience for us. We have learned many important things that will help us to develop further. We didn't lose in London against Arsenal and at the Camp Nou because of the low level of our team.

Shakhtar have strong and talented players, but in Barcelona we took to the pitch with thoughts that they are much stronger than we are. In the first leg, we gave them three presents. It's a mistake to think Barcelona are strong [purely] because of their star players. Josep Guardiola has organised his team perfectly.

Josep Guardiola, Barcelona coach
We will play in our usual style, though some details will depend on Shakhtar's tactics. Tomorrow's game won't be a training session before Saturday's match at Real Madrid. Despite a 5-1 defeat, Lucescu's side is very strong; otherwise they would not have reached the quarter-finals.

A serious test awaits us. We should complete our task in the Champions League before preparing for the Santiago Bernabéu. I want to repeat, again, that the tie is not already won. Anything is possible in football, but we will work hard to prevent Shakhtar pulling off a miracle.

Team news
Lucescu said there is a "20% chance" Darijo Srna will be fit after the captain suffered a thigh injury at the weekend. Dmytro Chygrynskiy (ankle) is likely to miss out against his former club for the second time, while Olexandr Kucher (knee) and Olexandr Chyzhov are also unavailable. Luiz Adriano is a doubt due to a muscle problem and Răzvan Raţ is banned.

Carles Puyol and Bojan Krkić have not travelled to Ukraine. The former has been sidelined by a left knee problem since 22 January, while Bojan suffered ligament damage to his left knee on Saturday and has been ruled out for six to eight weeks. Andrés Iniesta is suspended.

Weekend results
Saturday: Shakhtar 0-1 FC Obolon Kyiv
(Kucherenko 86)
The defeat was Shakhtar's first at home in 56 matches in all competitions since 22 October 2008 and a 1-0 loss to Sporting Clube de Portugal.

Saturday: Barcelona 3-1 UD Almería
(Messi 53pen 90+2, Thiago 64; Corona 50)
Lionel Messi had not found the net in his last five games before Saturday, but his double took him to 50 goals in 51 games for club and country this season.

Did you know?
David Villa scored both goals in Valencia CF's 2-0 win against Shakhtar in the 2006/07 group stage. He also played in the 2-2 return draw in Donetsk in October 2006.

See the match background for more information.

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