Shakhtar Donetsk host Roma tonight and Simon Hopper is tipping the Ukrainians to win again…

Last 16, second leg, Kick-off: 19:45 (BST)
Shakhtar Donetsk (3) v Roma (2)

Mircea Lucescu is confident Shakhtar Donetsk have “enough experience” to hold on to a 3-2 lead as Roma come to Ukraine bidding to impress under new coach Vincenzo Montella.

“The team are well prepared, we are ready to fight,” said Lucescu. “The players gave their all in our latest training session and everyone is ready to play apart from Olexandr Kucher.

“The pitch is in excellent condition. In the past we had problems and had to play at the RSC Olimpiyskiy, but everything is very well now.

When the sides met three weeks ago, Roma were led by Claudio Ranieri, but defeat in that game contributed to the coach’s downfall and the appointment of Montella.

“Since Vincenzo Montella’s appointment Roma have changed their style,” added Lucescu. “I have a feeling that the days of Luciano Spalletti are returning. We are familiar with their attacking style of play because we played against Roma five years ago in the Champions League group stage. The absence of Marco Cassetti and Jérémy Menez through suspension will not weaken Roma: they have enough top-class players to replace them.

“It’s very important for us to win tomorrow. Our opponents naturally want revenge, but Shakhtar have enough experience to get a proper result. We need to qualify and after that we will think about what comes next. It’s too early to speak about it right now.”

With Fernandinho back in action after recovering from a broken leg, Kucher is the only significant absentee for Shakhtar.

Meanwhile, Montella is confident his side can end Shakhtar Donetsk’s 100% home record in this season’s Champions League.

“We have come to Donetsk with the ambition and the ability to win,” said “Right now all of us are completely focused on Shakhtar. We will start our preparations for the derby match against [S.S.] Lazio after the Champions League game.

“Shakhtar are a well-organised team. We have all had a chance to assess them from their performance in Rome. We have to make the game difficult for them. It is very important to not let them play the way they want to. I am very optimistic about our chances to win here. Roma have great potential, but we must all pull together if we are to win.

“It is very important for me to achieve a unity of purpose in the team. I have a lot of enthusiasm and am trying to live up to this role. I have a good understanding with [captain] Francesco Totti. He listens to my advice and does everything I tell him to do.”

Menez and Marco Cassetti are serving one-match suspensions. Adriano has not played since dislocating his shoulder in January.

Shakhtar Donetsk host Roma tonight and Simon Hopper is tipping the Ukrainians to win again…

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