Preview: Shakhtar Donetsk v Athletic

Athletic Club may be out of contention to reach the last 16, but FC Shakhtar Donetsk coach Mircea Lucescu knows the Liga side will play for "the honour of the club" in Lviv.

Mircea Lucescu's Shakhtar are the group stage's 14-goal top scorers
Mircea Lucescu's Shakhtar are the group stage's 14-goal top scorers ©AFP/Getty Images

Mircea Lucescu believes Athletic will "give 100%" despite being out of contention
Athletic can still finish third and claim a place in the UEFA Europa League
The sides drew 0-0 in Spain on matchday one 
Luiz Adriano needs one goal to break Cristiano Ronaldo's record of nine for a group stage
Shakhtar have lost only three of last 18 home games in the UEFA Champions League

Permutations: Shakhtar (8pts) v Athletic (1)
Shakhtar can only be knocked out if they lose both remaining games and FC BATE Borisov pick up six points.
Athletic cannot finish in the top two; if BATE win against FC Porto, the Spanish side must also do so to stay in the hunt for third spot.

Possible lineups
Shakhtar: Pyatov; Srna, Kucher, Rakitskiy, Shevchuk; Stepanenko; Douglas Costa, Fernando, Alex Teixeira, Taison; Luiz Adriano.
Out: Kryvtsov (ankle), Ordets (broken toe)
Doubtful: Azevedo (knee)

Athletic: Iraizoz; De Marcos, Etxeita, Gurpegi, Balenziaga; Mikel Rico, Iturraspe, Beñat; Susaeta, Viguera, Muniain.
Out: Guillermo (hamstring)
Doubtful: Iraola (hamstring), Aduriz (muscle)

Mircea Lucescu, Shakhtar coach
It doesn't matter that Athletic's qualification chances have gone. Every team has motivation in the Champions League as they fight for their name and the honour of the club. I'm sure they will give 100% tomorrow to get a positive result and win some more points in the group. The fact they have brought all of their best players here inbetween important league games [against Espanyol and Getafe] supports my view.

We've lost another central defender, Ivan Ordets, for a long time after he broke a toe in the last match [against FC Karpaty Lviv]. Fortunately, Olexandr Kucher has recovered from his injury and has been training with the team in the past few days. Of course, he has not had enough practice as his last match was against BATE [on 21 October], but he has great experience and he knows Athletic because he played at Sam Mames.

Ernesto Valverde, Athletic coach
Our goal is to play good football against a very strong team and try to win here. We know we can't stay in the Champions League but we will do our best to qualify for the Europa League. It's also a great competition.

I'm not interested in what BATE get from their match against Porto. We don't want to depend on their results, and that's why we need to win to be sure we are in control of our own destiny [on matchday six].

Shakhtar are a great team. To tell the truth I wasn't happy to have them in our group because I knew how strong they were. They have very fast and skilful Brazilian players in attack, but also their defence is very strong. It will be difficult to stop them but we will try. We must close up any spaces in our half of the pitch and be sure they can't organise fast attacks. From our side it's necessary not to squander our opportunities.

Aritz Aduriz may be rested
Aritz Aduriz may be rested©Getty Images

It's possible I will rest some players who might have been overloaded in recent matches. I'm doubtful about [Aritz] Aduriz, who has had muscle problems and played a lot recently. On the other hand, it's a very important match where we need points so I still have to think it over. We had some poor matches at the beginning of the season, but now we are doing much better in the Liga, and we hope that will give us confidence to show our worth in the Champions League too.

Weekend results
FC Karpaty Lviv 0-2 Shakhtar (Alex Teixeira 10, Luiz Adriano 22)
Athletic 3-1 RCD Espanyol (Aduriz 29, Viguera 44, Iturraspe 78; Víctor Sánchez 84)

Form guide (all competitions)
Shakhtar: WDWLWW
Athletic: WDLWWL

Match facts
• Athletic were last in the UEFA Champions League group stage in 1998/99 – how many points did they earn? Find out in our extensive match background.

Top