Yuriy Gulyaev: We expect some cautious football

Shakhtar midfielder of the 1980s shared his view on the upcoming match against Real Madrid.

- Match against a team of this level is always a significant event. I think it will be a tense and combat-like game. It is unlikely that we will see a lot of exposed performance, we are more likely to see some cautious football without goal galore.

- The Pitmen have had Kucher and Srna suspended. Will it strongly affect the Donetsk team’s performance?
- Those are the key players whose distinctive feature is consistency. They always carry out a great deal of work, so their absence is certainly an unpleasant loss. However, those who take the field instead of them, will try to prove their qualities and show just their best side. A lack of commitment is absolutely out of the question in our case.

- At the same time, Madrid’s Ramos and Marcelo are injured ...
- Right, and they are also the key players for Real Madrid. So the teams have struck a balance in this respect, so it’s a level playing field for everyone.

- Does the crushing defeat in El Clasico give the Meringues the motivation to rehabilitate themselves in front of their fans as quickly as possible?
- The press have been recently writing on a regular basis that not everything runs smoothly at the club, as they have some difficulties with Benitez. A lot of criticism has been addressed to him. Such instability, of course, plays into the hands of Shakhtar. But Real Madrid would want to rehabilitate themselves. The Champions League is a good reason for that. Madrid will not lower their bar.
 
- What strategy, according to you, should the Donetsk team follow to claim some points in this encounter?
- It is necessary for them to play in a disciplined way defensively and try to move the play to midfield – further away from their own penalty area. Especially as they shouldn’t commit any fouls near their goal because set play is one of the trump cards of Real Madrid. Besides, they should not give any space to Ronaldo - if he picks up speed, it will be difficult to stop him. As for our attacking third, we should play aggressively and assertively.

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