Fonseca: ‘Shakhtar-Roma rich tactically’

Shakhtar Donetsk Coach Paulo Fonseca expects Roma to provide “a rich game tactically between two teams who are not afraid to play and show their ideas.”

The first leg in the Champions League Round of 16 kicks off in Kharkiv on Wednesday at 19.45 GMT.

He was asked about the fact Shakhtar Donetsk knocked Roma out of the tournament in 2010-11.

“The results from seven years ago do not influence tomorrow’s game. I wasn’t here at the time, neither were most of the players. The team has changed and I cannot say if we are stronger or not, as we are different, both in defence and attack,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“Roma have made some small changes over the last few games that do not transform the side, but they are a strong team and deservedly third in the Serie A table. I am convinced it’ll be a difficult game for both outfits and very rich on a tactical level. We are ready for this match.”

Bernard skipped training with a shoulder injury over the weekend, but was back in action today, though Maksym Malyshev is out.

“Bernard is fully recovered and will certainly play tomorrow. Bohdan Butko will play on the right, as we trust in him.”

Darijo Srna is suspended after failing a doping test, although he has taken time out to prove his innocence.

“I am convinced there will be good news soon. He is an important person for the team and it’s a big loss, so we hope he’ll be back soon.”

Shakhtar have only played one competitive game since the Winter break began in December, so will that affect their match fitness?

“I consider such a long break to a disadvantage, but it’s present in all the European tournaments with these calendars. We prepared well for tomorrow’s match and will get a good result.

“I think our chances of qualifying are 50-50. These are two sides of a high level, I expect a good performance with a lot of intensity. These two teams are not afraid to play and show off their ideas. It’ll be a very tactical match.”

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