Olexiy Bakharev: Shakhtar need to use counterattacks and set pieces

Shakhtar midfielder of the 1999-2006s shared his take on the return leg against Schalke 04.

- Olexiy, you know from your own experience what playing against a Bundesliga club is like. What are the main features of German football, according to you?
- A distinctive feature of the Bundesliga representatives is discipline. Those teams mostly practise an attacking style of play. I want to note that in recent years, the German football has markedly stepped up speed and technique.

- Can Schalke be also characterised as an attacking team?
- Probably not. The Gelsenkirchen side pay more attention to their defence. But in this specific case, a lot will depend on how Shakhtar will allow them to act. If the charges of Mircea Lucescu manage to impose their game onto the Germans, the Royal Blues will be unlikely to have any choice left style wise. But definitely, the clash won’t be easy for either side. However, I believe that the Donetsk team are able to cope with the Germans. Besides, the young Ukrainian guys, who have been fielded by Mister lately, have a huge motivation.

- Which team is in a better position, given the result of the meeting in Lviv?
- The opponents are in absolutely equal conditions. Of course, we can say that Schalke will be helped by their home stands, but the Orange-Blacks have some huge experience in European competitions. Shakhtar played at such huge stadiums as Camp Nou, Santiago Bernabeu and Parc des Princes. Therefore, the away game factor should not affect the result. I suppose that the ones to score first will make it to the next stage of the competition.

- Who do you think will replace Oleksandr Kucher?
- I think the main candidate is Ivan Ordets. He has the experience and skill. But the decision, of course, depends on Mircea Lucescu.

- How do Shakhtar need to play in order to achieve a positive result?
- The Donetsk side need to use counterattacks and make the most of their set pieces. At the same time, it is very important not to concede any goals, because it will be difficult to equalise.