Yuriy Guliayev: Donetsk side will count on the counterattacks

Shakhtar midfielder of the 1980s shared his vision of the upcoming match in Vienna.

- I would like to see the kind of performance that Shakhtar produced in their home game against the Turks. The mood, will to win and aggressiveness, just like in that game, encourage the success of our team. Of course, the Donetsk team are the pairing’s favourites. But, as Mircea Lucescu pointed out, the entire team should have the sky-high motivation for this encounter.

- Who, according to you, is a more formidable rival in the race for the Champions League group stage berth, Rapid or Fenerbahce?
- I know that Rapid are the Austrian football giants, though they haven’t been particularly successful in the European stage. Besides, if we look at the names, then the Turkish club has a whole lot of renowned players at their disposal. So I think that a more formidable opponent is still Fenerbahce.

- How important is for the Pitmen to secure a good start in the away match?
- I think that Shakhtar will act in the same way as they did in Turkey. Playing away, the Donetsk side will count on the counterattacks. They will play more defensively, making use of quick transitions from defence to attack and of through balls. And in the return leg, they will fulfil themselves to the maximum.

- Rapid practise attacking football. In that case, what components of the game should Shakhtar focus on in order to achieve a positive result?
- First of all, cohesive teamwork in defensive third is important, as well as good control of the ball in midfield. The Pitmen have fast players up front, they will be able to achieve the result with that taken into account. However, I want to repeat that reliable defence is top priority. They shouldn’t allow Rapid any freedom of action. It's still a home game for the Austrians, they will try to play attacking football and gain a secure lead.