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Rapid cannot relate to Shakhtar

FC Shakhtar Donetsk and AFC Rapid Bucuresti's meeting may see father and son go head to head but their preparations have been vastly different.

Contrasting fortunes
While visiting Shakhtar have a host of injury problems to trouble the experienced Mircea Lucescu, his son Razvan's Rapid side play host with a clean bill of health. Both clubs have made excellent starts to their Group G campaigns. Shakhtar have two wins from two, while Rapid won their only game to date.

Matuzalem relief
Shakhtar have lost defender Tolga Seyhan (ankle) and striker Brandão (knee) to injuries until the end of the year, while Ciprian Marica may also be out for an extended period. However, one positive has been that Brazilian playmaker Matuzalem, who scored in the 2-0 weekend win against FC Volyn Lutsk is fit despite taking a knock.

'Tough match'
Ukraine striker Andriy Vorobey is also training but will not be fit enough to face Rapid although goalkeeper Jan Laštuvka is back. Mircea Lucescu is naturally wary of his son's team. "Rapid will want to continue their positive results. Of course, sons also want to overcome their fathers, like all students want to outsmart their teachers, so we are in for a tough match"

'Total commitment'
The younger Lucescu, whose team go into the match on the back of a 1-0 weekend win against CFR Cluj, is also expecting a difficult encounter. "For us it's not a decisive match," he said, "but we shall have to prove self-sacrifice and total commitment. Our self confidence is our strongest point." He has all his players at his disposal with no injuries or suspensions.

More strength
Added to that, he has recalled four players who have recently been playing for the club's reserve team in the second tier of Romanian football - namely Ionut Curca, Vali Negru, Adrian Rusu and Gigel Ene. However, it is an established name who will be most in the spotlight, at least in terms of players, on Thursday night.

Club record
The 30-year-old midfielder Marius Maldarasanu is set to play his 26th match in UEFA club competition for Rapid and therefore set a new club record for most European appearances. However, understandably even he will be overshadowed by the battle between Mircea and Razvan Lucescu, with only a draw likely to maintain family harmony.