On Thursday both Shakhtar Donetsk and Dynamo Kyiv enter the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup, a historic first with two Ukrainian sides in the final eight. (for a full review of Dynamo Kyiv match please visit Yevy’s great blog).
Although Shakhtar Donetsk is coming off a 1-0 loss to Metalurh Zaporizhya they are confident as Marseille visits Olympiyskiy Stadium. The loss, although difficult in their chase of Dynamo was caused mostly through a number of players absences during international break and not being prepared for the match. Shakhtar coach Mircea Lucescu stirred up sentiments with Dynamo as he announced the winner of their quarter final match will advance to Istanbul:
"They have a great European history and play good football. They are in very good shape and playing with a lot of enthusiasm. One of these strong teams will be in the final."
Shakhtar Donetsk Darijo Srna responded to his sides poor start of the year:
"We have a strong character and that is the reason we overcame the crisis. I'm sure we will continue to play good football and will finish second."
"Both teams play open football so the game should be interesting for the fans. Marseille are a very clever team. I'm sure we will score but the most important thing is not to concede a goal. Small mistakes can cost you a lot."
Brandão is excluded from Marseille's lineup as he is cup-tied with Shakhtar's only injury absence Serbian Igor Duljaj.