It will be an interesting match

Monday, September 27, 2021



Before the match vs Inter, Shakhtar head coach Roberto De Zerbi spoke about the opponents’ strength, Simone Inzaghi, the starting lineup and tasks on the pitch

- Tomorrow Shakhtar will play for the fifth time in the Champions League against the club from Milan. Before that, you met twice at home with Inter and twice with Milan. In those four matches, the Miners have not scored a single goal: three clean-sheet defeats and a goalless draw last year. Are you concerned with such disappointing statistics? (Sport Arena)
- Of course I am, Inter are a very strong team. They won the Italian league title last season, which is very difficult to do. And this season, I think they are even stronger. However, we are Shakhtar, we always try to play and showcase good football. We'll be ready. We know that we are facing tough opponents, but we also started a new cycle, we also have a new destination. And we need to add something to play well.

- You said that Inzaghi's team are stronger than Conte's team. What do you mean? (Futbol Format)
- I’ve already mentioned the reason. They lost Lukaku and Hakimi, but replaced them with some good, strong players. They lost Conte whom I consider to be one of the best coaches in Italy, but the team was headed by Inzaghi who is also an excellent coach whom I know well. This team have won the Scudetto, which is not easy to achieve, they have great confidence in their abilities. Victories always help to improve the level and add some mentality.
- You have a rich experience of meetings with Italian clubs as a coach of Sassuolo, but this is your first encounter at Shakhtar. Does this make you anxious, does it put additional pressure on you? Plus you have beaten Simone Inzaghi's men more than once. How comfortable are you meeting the teams of this coach? (
- We have met many times: sometimes I got luckier, sometimes he did. I really appreciate Simone Inzaghi as a coach. It will be an interesting match tomorrow. As for the first question, of course, I cannot say that I don’t feel any pressure. I wouldn’t be able to work as a coach otherwise! I understand that there are certain expectations, but this is normal for our job. I’m 100% focussed on tomorrow's game against Inter. We also have a very important match against Dynamo this Sunday, in which we also have to show good football. There are interesting games ahead.

- Do you expect Inter to play offensively? Simone Inzaghi said at his press conference that they have created a lot of scoring chances in recent encounters. Plus one more thing: both teams lost their first matches. How do you feel in this situation? (Corriere della Sera)
- Yes, that's right, both teams lost, but in different ways, because Inter were defeated by Real Madrid. What do I expect from the opponents? I don't think Inter will change their approach. Of course, I don’t know how it will be tomorrow, but I watched the match against Atalanta - they had a good match both physically and offensively. We know how they play. In the Champions League, the team must be ready to react to all situations, which is paramount.

- There are statistics, according to which 95 percent of coaches do not name the starting line-up before important matches, and only five percent boldly give such information. Which category do you belong to? If it’s the second one, can you name the eleven guys for tomorrow? (Hazeta Po-Ukrayinsky)
- I am in the category of coaches who like to name the starting lineup to their footballers. And then it's not a problem to add or change some decision on one player. Of course, today I’m not going to name tomorrow’s line-up.

- Ukrainian people are living the victory of Oleksandr Usyk. Do you watch boxing? If we compare the boxing match and tomorrow's match, who is Usyk and who’s Joshua in this faceoff? (
- I am not a man of sports. I only love football. I live and breathe football. If you want to know the answer, please talk to Stepanenko or other guys, because they know this better than I do. I honestly don't know. I have a lot of football stuff to think about, so I leave the players an opportunity to answer.
- What do Shakhtar need to do tomorrow to win this match? (Visti)
- Even if we do everything we can tomorrow, it does not mean that we will win. I said that Inter are stronger, but I also thought that Shakhtar are stronger than Sheriff, and in the end I got a different result. All matches start with the score of 0-0. Football is always interesting. I just know that tomorrow we have to do well with and without the ball. We must play boldly. Almost all my players have to have fun on the pitch, because I know that if they have fun, they can give their one hundred percent. Let's see what the result will be, but I think that everything I have listed is really important for us.
- You currently coach abroad, but watch Italian football, how do Milan, Juventus, Napoli and others play? And I advise you to watch boxing - it was an interesting fight. (La Repubblica)
- Thanks for your advice. As for the first part of your question, yes, I watch different leagues - both La Liga or Premier League, and Serie A, because I am Italian. I’m always more interested in the footballers I used to coach. For example, Locatelli at Juventus, Caputo at Sampdoria, Vacca at Venice. It’s interesting to follow Italy because many teams have changed coaches - Mourinho, Allegri, Spalletti, Sarri, some others. Watching is important - this is my profession, my job, and as an Italian I am always interested in following my domestic league.