Shakhtar v Roma preview
Shakhtar Donetsk coach Mircea Lucescu is confident his team will edge past Roma and create more history.
By Soriebah Kajue
Last Updated: 08/03/11 7:12pm
Shakhtar Donetsk coach Mircea Lucescu is confident his team will edge past Roma and create more Champions League history.
The Pitmen reached the knockout stages of the competition for the first time this season and claimed a shock 3-2 win in Rome in the first leg.
A place in the quarter-finals is just 90 minutes away for the Ukrainian side and Lucescu has an inner confidence this can be achieved.
"It's very important for us to win," he said. "Our opponents naturally want revenge, but Shakhtar have enough experience to get a proper result.
"We need to qualify and after that we will think about what comes next. It's too early to speak about it right now."
Roma, though, will face a difficult task. Donetsk have won their last 18 matches in all competitions and have not lost at the Donbass Arena since moving there in 2009.
The last time they lost at home was in October 2008 which illustrates their dominance in front of their fans.
However, Roma have been imbued by the appointment of former striker Vincenzo Montella.
It will be his first game as a coach in Europe's premier competition after being promoted from the Roma Under 15 coach's job to take the reins after Claudio Ranieri was dismissed.
Despite the enormity of the task that he faces, the former Italy international is refusing to be overawed by his opponents' sterling unbeaten home run.
"You can analyse the statistics - and we have - but that doesn't mean they're never going to lose. In fact, these records are there to be broken," said Montella.
"We just need to think about our own game without getting too affected by the stats. Be aware of them, analyse them, but don't let them affect you."
Fernandinho returns to the squad for Donetsk having recovered from a broken leg but they will be without Kucher who is out with a knee injury.
Four of the home players will be walking on a disciplinary tightrope as Dmytro Chygrinskiy, Olexiy Gay, Luiz Adriano and Razvan Rat are just one booking away from a suspension.
As for Roma, they will be without the suspended duo of Jeremy Menez and Marco Cassetti.
Adriano has been out since January with a dislocated shoulder, while Simone Perrotta will have to play with controlled aggression as he is just one booking away from a suspension.