Man United should expect very difficult Shakhtar test, warns Kanchelskis
Manchester United legend Andrei Kanchelskis expects the Red Devils to face a "very hard" test at Shakhtar Donetsk
Andrei Kanchelskis believes Manchester United can expect a “very hard” Champions League test at Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday.
The Red Devils are bidding to become the first English side to win at the Donbass Arena after Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur all suffered defeats in Ukraine over the past decade.
Kanchelsksis, who was at United between 1991 and 1995, reckons the Red Devils should expect a tough battle against the Ukrainian champions as David Moyes’ men look to bounce back from a two-game losing streak.
“It is going to be very hard for Manchester United, I am afraid,” Kanchelskis told the Manchester Evening News.
“It will be a very, very difficult game because Shakhtar have a lot of good players and with the crowd behind them they are very tough to play against at home.”
He added: “Shakhtar have been improving greatly year after year and for the last 10 years they have won virtually every title in the Ukrainian League.
“It has been fantastic for the city and for the fans, they are loving it. They have built up a formidable home record and any side that goes there won’t find it easy at all.
“Shakhtar have a number of Brazilian players in the team and it makes the side a very technical and very skilful one.”
Shakhtar Donetsk v Man United: Pre-match facts
• Shakhtar helped eliminate United’s Premier League rivals Chelsea in last season’s group stage. Mircea Lucescu’s men beat the then holders 2-1 at home through goals from Alex Teixeira and Fernandinho and only lost the return fixture 3-2 after conceding in added time.
• Shakhtar have won all three previous Champions League fixtures against English visitors to Donetsk, with earlier successes against Arsenal in the 2000/01 first group stage (3-0) and 2010/11 group stage (2-1). Overall their home record against Premier League sides is W4 D1 L0.
• United’s only previous encounters with Ukrainian opposition came against Dynamo Kyiv, most recently in the 2007/08 group stage when they won 4-2 in Kyiv and 4-0 in Manchester. Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney both found the net in Ukraine, while Rooney was also on target at Old Trafford.
• Ryan Giggs played in the English champions’ first visit to Ukraine, a 0-0 draw at Dynamo in their opening match of the 2000/01 first group stage.