Valeriy Rudakov: Pitmen need an early goal

Shakhtar midfielder of the 1970s-1980s shared his vision of the Donetsk side’s upcoming Champions League game.

- Of course, I look forward to Shakhtar’s confident win. Malmo are our direct competitors for the Europa League berth. Besides, after the match in Sweden, there is simply no more backing space. However, it is important for the Orange-Blacks not only to play well offensively, but also not to concede a goal. The home ground factor should help them.

- Mircea Lucescu said that they need to win the home game with an advantage of two goals. Will the team manage to attain their aim and what does it take, according to you?
- Definitely it will be difficult, but Shakhtar have no alternative. The Pitmen should try to score an early goal, this will make the opponents charge forward to try to level the score and consequently expose themselves. In this case, Shakhtar’s offence will get the necessary space and the opportunity to score more.

- Will Shakhtar cope with the opponents’ tight defence through the players’ creative individual brilliance, or maybe through the quick passing game?
- Just all this working together. There must be a rapid transition from defence to attack. Shakhtar have enough fast-running men, this ability should be taken advantage of. Malmo are a physically strong team, so there will be numerous challenges for the ball. In this respect, as usual, particular responsibility will rest with our holding midfielders. If the Donetsk team prove to be better in those key components, they will achieve a positive result.

- On their pitch, the Swedes proved to be a disciplined and cool-headed team. Could they lose concentration being away?
- I don’t think so. This team has experience of playing in the Champions League, so we should expect from them the same performance as in Malmo. The opponents are also well aware that this is one of the key games for advancing to the Europa League. Plus they won the first leg, so they will come to Ukraine in a good mood.