Shakhtar Donetsk refuse to be overawed by the prospect of facing Milan, the Italian champions and one of the favourites to lift this season’s Champions League trophy.
“There is no team in Italy, whose players would be afraid before a game against Milan or any other big club,” said the club’s Brazilian midfield player Matuzalem, who played in Italy for four years.
“I hope that the courage I found in Italy will be widespread among my new team-mates. We are a very strong team, because there can be no other kind of team in the Champions League. You just have to bear that simple thought in mind and get used to it.”
“Of course, we have not had a rival of Milan’s calibre so far, but I am pretty sure we have something to surprise them.”
Mircea Lucescu’s are without Romanian defender Flavius Stoican, but otherwise can report a clean bill of health.
Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti has concerns over defenders Cafu and Jaap Stam but he was confident enough to name his starting eleven 24 hours ahead of kick-off.
“In attack Kaka, Shevchenko and [Jon Dahl] Tomasson will play, with [Gennaro] Gattuso, [Andrea] Pirlo and [Clarence] Seedorf in midfield,” said Ancelotti.
“The only doubts are in defence because I have got to check on the condition of Cafu and Stam who picked up knocks against Livorno.”