Lucescu respects Real Sociedad

Mircea Lucescu has made clear his respect for Real Sociedad ahead of facing them with Shakhtar Donetsk.

La Real are seen as Group A underdogs and begin just their second ever campaign in the Champions League on Tuesday evening at home to the experienced Ukrainians.

Even so, the visiting side have outlined their belief in Real’s capacity to cause them problems.

“Real Sociedad are a good team – any team that play in the Spanish league as they do and qualify for the Champions League are a difficult team,” Lucescu told reporters in his pre-game address.

“Real Sociedad’s advantage is that they have retained their squad, which consists of experienced performers.

“Plus, of course, they are more confident in their abilities after overcoming Lyon. And, of course, they're playing at home in front of their supporters. They can support their team not only in San Sebastian, but also in the whole of Spain.

“They're a well-structured team, they have top-class players like Griezmann, Prieto, Seferovic, Vela, Inigo Martinez and we have to be ready for them.”

Lucescu was asked of a possible plan to stop Carlos Vela in particular.

“First of all, Vela isn’t the only one who represents this team. There are Prieto, Griezmann, and other good experienced performers.

“When analysing Real Sociedad, I told my players that this is a very experienced team, the average age of which is 26-27.

“And all of them have the experience of playing in the Spanish top flight. Their defence mainly consists of local players, Spaniards, and foreigners play upfront.

“What sort of game do we expect? They are the hosts and they will try to control the game, although Real Sociedad mainly build their game around fast attacks, not positional ones.

“A lot will be decided in this match by the teams’ midfield. Both Sociedad and our team have very fast, skilful players upfront.”

Tags Lucescu Shakhtar Donetsk