Brawn versus technique
ISTANBUL - The last UEFA Cup final will be a clash of German brawn and Ukrainian technique, Shakhtar Donetsk coach Mircea Lucescu said ahead of their clash with Werder Bremen here today.
"We'll watch a game performed in two very different styles. Bremen are an attacking side with very good physique. They have some very strong athletes in the team," he said.
"Shakhtar Donetsk's style is based on the good technique of our players and we will try and control the game," the Romanian told a news conference yesterday.
The Ukrainian side, who have reached their first European final, have no injury worries but will be without suspended midfielder Tomas Huebschman. By contrast Werder Bremen, Cup Winners' Cup winners in 1992, have been hit by a host of suspensions and injury problems.
Playmaker Diego is banned but would have probably missed the final anyway, having torn his thigh muscle in training. Fellow Brazilian Naldo faces a race to be fit after a groin injury.
"I would like to have seen how the Brazilian players would have faced each other," said Lucescu, whose squad features five Brazilians.
Shakhtar, who beat Barcelona 3-2 at the Nou Camp in the Champions League last December, have helped boost Ukrainian football, he added, building on the country's profile before it co-hosts Euro 2012 with Poland. From next season UEFA's second-tier competition becomes the Europa League, a re-branded and expanded affair that European soccer's governing body hopes will give it renewed impetus. - Reuters