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Lucescu will send Shakhtar out to win

Mircea Lucescu says his Shakhtar Donetsk team always play to win ahead of their Champions League clash against Juventus on Wednesday.

The Ukrainian champions sit top of Group E and are already through to the last 16 of the competition.

But even though a point is enough to guarantee top spot, Lucescu has claimed that will not influence his team’s approach.

“Shakhtar is always there to win,” he told Tuttosport.

“If the (game on) Wednesday will end in a tie, it will mean that it was fate.”

Lucescu also warned Juve might go into the fixture with more motivation, since a loss on Wednesday combined with a Chelsea win can still prevent the Italian side from reaching the knockout stages of the competition.

“The fact that we are playing against Juve should be motivation enough for us. Great players thrive on these comparisons. Speaking of motivation, it is clear that Juve has more,” he said.

And the coach expressed concerns his side could be feeling fatigued after a congested run of fixtures, focusing in particular on the Brazilian players in his team.

“It has definitely been a hard time and we are starting to feel it,” he said.

“All they think about are the holidays, especially Brazilians who cannot wait to go home, where they will find the summer.”

Lucescu also said he felt there were two favourites to win the Champions League trophy: “In their (domestic) leagues, they are all strong teams, but in the Champions League it is becoming increasingly difficult for everyone.

“However, I like Barca (Barcelona) and Bayern (Munich).”

Mon 3 December, 2012
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