MOSCOW, October 22 (RIA Novosti)
Shakhtar Donetsk coach Mircea Lucescu has issued a stark warning to Chelsea not to expect victory in their Champions League clash in Ukraine on Tuesday, saying the teams are on the same level.
The reigning champions lead Group E on goal difference from Shakhtar, and Tuesday's victors will take a huge step towards qualifying for the knockout phase even at this early stage.
Shakhtar, the 2009 UEFA Cup winners, seek their second victory of the campaign after beating Nordsjaelland of the Netherlands 2-0 in their opener last month.
Asked whether Shakhtar had matured sufficiently as a team to beat sides like Chelsea on their day, the 67-year-old Lucescu replied: "Yes, we've reached that level."
"We are the kind of team that can outplay such clubs," he said in comments to the club's website.
But Lucescu won't insist his team plays beautiful football if it risks the result.
"How exciting the game is doesn't worry me," he said. "The three points worry me."
Despite equating the quality of his side with that of the four-time English champions, Lucescu still said it was an honor to welcome a club of Chelsea's standing to the Donbass Arena.
"For my players it's big motivation and ambitions, for our supporters it is pride to receive such a club at our home arena, and for our club it's fantastic, a big pleasure."
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