Shakhter Donetsk coach Mircae Lucescu believes is players can shock Bayern Munich in the Tuesday round of 16 Champions League clash.
eaching the quarter-finals of European football’s elite club competition for only the second time since 2011 is a big ask for the Pitmen, even more so considering they have been pitched against one of the tournament favourites.
They will go out in Lviv on Tuesday night knowing there has rarely been a greater underdog for a Champions League knockout stage encounter and Lucescu is relishing the task at hand.
“We will be heroes if we knock them out,” he said.
There is a strong Brazilian influence to the Ukrainians with 13 members of their squad coming from the country, including Bernard who played in the 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat to Germany last summer.
That result sent shockwaves through Brazilian football and Lucescu is hoping his South American contingent can use that as a motivation.
“We’ve got 13 Brazilian players who are dreaming of gaining revenge against Bayern’s German contingent for what happened to their national team at the World Cup,” he said.
That defiance, according to Bayern forward Arjen Robben, is what makes Shakhtar so dangerous.
“I don’t like people talking about the quarter-finals or semis or saying: ‘When will you meet Madrid or Barca?’,” Robben told the Observer.
“It’s Shakhtar and nothing more. Pep (Guardiola) will give us so much detail on Shakhtar.
“He already told us that in his Barcelona days he played them four or five times. So he has said: ‘I’m well prepared’. Before each big game his preparation is incredible.”
Leading the line for Shakhtar will be Luiz Adriano who levelled Cristiano Ronaldo’s record of nine group stage goals.
Those goals helped Shakhtar eliminate Athletic Bilbao and BATE Borisov from Group H and Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is refusing to take their opponents lightly.
“We will certainly not be underestimating our opponents,” he told his club’s website as the Bundesliga leaders flew out on Monday.
“It’s an important Champions League game. They are a side with plenty of Brazilians and a very wise coach.
“We want to get a result there that opens the door to a place in the quarter-finals for us.”