‘Hard to determine favourites’

Mircea Lucescu has mused that it is difficult to label his Shakhtar Donetsk as favourites against Real Sociedad this midweek.

The Ukraine outfit host their Champions League Group A rivals on Wednesday evening a position and four points above them and with much greater hopes of continuing on in the tournament.

Even so, their Coach is not ruling out Real Sociedad’s capacity to make things tough.

“Every Champions League match is very difficult, so it’s hard to say who are the favourites and who are the outsiders,” considered Lucescu to reporters today.

“We started the competition very well by claiming an away win against them. I suppose, Real Sociedad didn’t expect such performance from us either.

“But then they came to their senses and played well in the next two fights – both in Leverkusen and in Manchester. They suffered close defeats, but with a great deal of luck for Leverkusen. The result does not always correspond to the level of one or another team – there may be different turns of events.

“Tomorrow, we expect a very difficult game. Sociedad still have chances to continue in the Europa League. This side has a lot of experience – it is not for nothing that they finished in fourth spot in the strongest League in Spain.

“They have a lot of good players who are much sought-after by the European football giants. In particular I want to note Griezmann and Vela – very fast and skilful players in the attacking third, who not just operate very well, but also score goals very often.

“In the current Champions League edition – except, perhaps, the match in Leverkusen – we played very well against all of our rivals and had the advantage. Unfortunately, our finishing is not perfect yet – this is our problem. I

“ wish we could play tomorrow at least on the same level as we did at home against Manchester United and Bayer, with lady luck shining on us a bit.

“Again I will say that until the end of the group stage it’s impossible to say who are the favourites and who are the leaders. The final games will reveal that.

“Until the end, perhaps, it won’t be clear who will advance from this group. Hopefully, no-one will affect the outcome any more, and everything will be decided only by the teams on the football field.”

Tags Lucescu Shakhtar Donetsk