Football

/ Preview

Powered by ESPNfc
  • Shakhtar Donetsk v Chelsea, Champions League

Shakhtar keen for Chelsea to learn Willian lesson

ESPN staff
October 23, 2012

Shakhtar Donetsk boss Mircea Lucescu has warned Chelsea they could be made to pay for failing to appreciate Willian's true value in Tuesday's crunch Champions League clash.

Lucescu accused the European champions of making a derisory bid for the Brazil playmaker, who they tried to buy in January and reportedly made another attempt to sign this summer.

Shakhtar were said to have snubbed a £16.7 million offer at the start of 2012 and one in the region of £27million after the Blues were crowned kings of Europe.

Lucescu, who admitted he had given Willian assurances he could move to Stamford Bridge, said: "Willian was far away from Chelsea. They didn't even get anywhere near to our requirements, having done nothing to make my promises to Willian come true.

"Speaking specifically about the amounts, they officially offered the sum for which we had bought him young. I would really like them to highly appreciate his true value [in the game] and realise that they made a big mistake.''

Lucescu also confirmed Chelsea had been interested in defender Darijo Srna while Carlo Ancelotti was in charge at Stamford Bridge. "Several years ago, I had a conversation with Ancelotti, and he was interested in Srna. My wish is that, after tomorrow's match, Chelsea get interested in all of our players.''

However, Lucescu insisted his red-hot side needed no more motivation to win the top-of-the-table Group E match than the fact they were playing the Champions League holders. The Ukrainian champions look well equipped to claim a huge scalp having won a record 21 league games in succession and 15 out of 16 of their matches in all competitions this term.

Lucescu said:"`For the first time during my spell at Shakhtar we take on the champions of Europe. For my players, it means big motivation and aspirations. For our fans, it's the pride to receive such a team at their home stadium, and for our club, it's a great joy and delight.

"If we played a friendly instead of the UCL game against Chelsea, we would probably have had to pay €1 million or €1.5 million for it. Hence, Shakhtar can only take advantage of its every aspect. And if we achieve a positive result - that's what everyone wants - it would be just great then.''

Chelsea do not appear to be missing Willian this season, however, and have little reason to fear a trip to Donetsk given their own form as they have enjoyed their second best start to a Barclays Premier League season. Their 4-2 win at Tottenham on Saturday was their seventh in eight league games and they are scoring just as freely as Tuesday's opponents.

Their current form has led Juan Mata, one of the star performers so far, to hail Roberto Di Matteo - only given the job on a permanent basis in the summer after winning this tournament while a caretaker last term - as their "perfect manager".

Mata said: "Robbie knows very well the team, Robbie knows very well the club as well. He is a legend here. And now, as a manager, he connects very well with the team, in every meeting, in every speech, he does deep inside every one of us, talking about every game.

"I think it's very important to be ready for every competition, for the Premier League and now for the Champions League. He knows how important it is for the club to play these kinds of games, to win again the Champions League like last season. So, I think for us, he's the perfect manager.''

Chelsea will have captain John Terry back in the side after he served the first of a four-match domestic ban on Saturday.

Shakhtar Donetsk player to watch: All eyes will be on Brazil international Willian who, at 24 years of age, has the ability to win a game by himself. Always happy to run at defences and commit defenders, Willian can also bend one in from range and will occupy more than one Chelsea defender on Tuesday.

Chelsea player to watch: John Terry returns to action for the first time since accepting his FA ban for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand. He bolsters a defence that looked shaky at Spurs, and usually when the spotlight is on the former England man, he delivers.

Betting: With all the attention on the threat of Willian, former Arsenal hotshot Eduardo might get overlooked in Donetsk. His speed of thought and lethal finishing ability make him hugely tempting to score first in a 2-0 win at 30/1 with bet365.

Prediction: 2-0

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Close