Tuesday September 12 2017
Fonseca: 'Sarri best Coach in Italy'

Shakhtar Donetsk boss Paulo Fonseca called Maurizio Sarri “the best Coach in Italy” ahead of the Champions League clash with Napoli.

It kicks off in Kharkiv on Wednesday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).

“Napoli have different characteristics to what we usually face in Ukraine,” said Portuguese tactician Fonseca in his Press conference.

“They are very strong and their style of football is among the best in Europe. We know this game will be very different to what we’re accustomed to. Our opponents lost only four games last season and have a marvellous attack that scored 94 goals.

“It’s going to be tough and we have to give our best to get anything out of it. We played last weekend, so haven’t had much time to prepare.

“Anyone who knows our team realises it is made to play football and keep possession. I think tomorrow will be a very open game and I hope to see some great football.

“I have great admiration for Napoli and I consider Sarri to be the best Coach in Italy. They play so well collectively and as individuals. It’s not easy to name just three of their top players, just look at Kalidou Koulibaly, Dries Mertens, Marek Hamsik, Arkadiusz Milik and the rest.”

Napoli and Shakhtar Donetsk are in the same group as Manchester City and Feyenoord.

“Undoubtedly the favourites are Manchester City and Napoli, but we want to cause an upset. This won’t be a decisive match, but a win would be very important.”

Shakhtar Donetsk will be without centre-back Sergii Kryvstov for 6-8 weeks after fracturing his kneecap in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Zorya.

“It would’ve been better if we had Krvystov available, but unfortunately that is not the case. I still have a lot of faith in my other players.”

Neither side trained at OSK Metalist Stadion in Kharkiv today, as it is used while the Donbass Arena is out of action following shelling in the conflict with Russia in 2014. Shakhtar had been playing home games in Lviv and moved their headquarters to Kiev, but switched to Kharkiv earlier this year.

“We don’t often play here, so we preferred to train in Kiev, but we’ll see if we continue doing that in future.”

Shakhtar Donetsk squad for Napoli: Pyatov, Shevchenko, Kudryk; Butko, Srna, Ismaily, Azevedo, Khocholava, Ordets, Rakitskyy; Stepanenko, Patrick, Kovalenko, Fred, Petriak, Dentinho, Marlos, Bernard, Taison; Leschuk, Ferreyra