Lucescu predicts 'clash of styles'
Shakhtar Donetsk coach gunning for glory against Werder Bremen in Uefa Cup final.
Last Modified: 19 May 2009 15:01 GMT

 Mircea Lucescu faces the media [GALLO/GETTY]
The coach of Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk, Mircea Lucescu, is predicting a clash of styles when his team takes on Germany's Werder Bremen in Wednesday's Uefa Cup final.

The 63-year-old Romanian coach is preparing his team for the match in Istanbul, which will be the last ever Uefa Cup final before its rebranding as the Europa League.

His side will need to be ready to cope with an athletic, speedy side that have already knocked out former continental champions AC Milan and Hamburg.

Lucescu said he expected Bremen to try to physically dominate a young Shakhtar side aiming to become the first from Ukraine to hoist the trophy.

Attacking style

"Bremen is the attacking team with very good physique and a lot of really good athletes on their team," Lucescu said.

"And as for Shakhtar Donetsk, the style is based on the good technique of the players and, naturally owing to our specific qualities, they will try to exercise control over the progress of the game."

Whether Lucescu can do so will go some way to demonstrating how successfully he has managed to emulate the template of youth, skill and tactical flexibility he established in spells with Dinamo Bucharest, Galatasaray and Besiktas.

There are just three players over 30 years of age in Shakhtar's 25-man squad, which features a quintet of skilful Brazilians, of whom midfielders Fernandinho, Ilsinho and likely substitute Willian average just 22 years of age.

Striker Luiz Adriano should start the game against the German club but Jadson, the oldest of his compatriots at 25, could miss the final because of injury.

But the free kick specialist, who scored and then set up the winning goal in the second leg of the semi-final win over Dynamo Kiev, has not given up hope of recovering.

He was rested at the weekend, along with Fernandinho and Ilsinho, for Saturday's 3-0 domestic league win at Zorya.

"He was involved in the general group in training for the last two days and most likely he will appear on the pitch tomorrow," Lucescu said.

"As for the line-up, we are going to analyse training. Most likely, we will make the decision just before the game starts."

Shakhtar captain Darjo Srna is desperate to play a key role in Istanbul after Turkey equalised in the last minute before eliminating his Croatia team from last year's European Championship on a penalty shootout.

"I think the whole of Turkey owes me something," Srna said.

Bremen's Claudio Pizarro will keep Shakhtar's defence busy [GALLO/GETTY]
Track record

Shakhtar are unbeaten in their last three games against German opposition, all of which came under Lucescu, who enjoyed success in Istanbul with both Galatasaray and Besiktas.

He led Galatasaray, who had just become the only Turkish club to win a European title with the 2000 Uefa Cup, to the European Super Cup and an appearance in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

He also hoisted the 2002 Turkish league title before moving across town and doing the same with Besiktas the following season.

And several of his players should feel comfortable in the surroundings of Fenerbahce's Sukru Saracoglu Stadium.

"We played two games against Fenerbahce last season, as if we could have
predicted this here," Lucescu said.

"Our players will not feel this is too strange for them. They know this stadium well already."

But if Bremen are looking for omens of its own, they may want to consider that Lucescu won just one of his five games at the venue during his four years in Istanbul.

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