Shakhtar's experience in Europe stands out. They're used to competing in the Champions League, they have a lot of quality and they're not afraid to play their game. On the one hand we have to try to negate their strengths while also playing our game to give ourselves a chance of winning. We've analysed them a lot and we know what we're up against.They are team who go out to win games, with a defined style of play and they're not going to change. We'll be trying to impose our own style and it should be an open and attractive game.
Real Sociedad is 1-2-1 so far domestically. That’s probably close to par given who they’ve faced. Last season the club did really well, much thanks to Illarramendi who has now transferred to Real. They’ve brought in some very decent players this window, but I do rate them as weaker than last season still. Sociedad has no new injury worries. That means Ifran is the only man on the sidelines.Shakhtar Donetsk is 6-1-2 so far domestically, and they’re winless in three. As usual it is a mix of local lads and Brazilian flair players that dons the Shakhtar shirt. After selling Mkhitaryan, Fernandinho and Willian this transfer window they’ve brought in Bernard, Ferreyra, Fred, Wellington and Fernando has all been brought in. It is obviously going to take some time for this side to gel, but make no mistake about it. This side can play!.Real Sociedad only lost twice at home last season, and they won to nil five times. They beat Barcelona and Valencia and drew Real Madrid. Their stats were 10-7-2. Shakhtar Donetsk was fantastic in Ukraine last season with 11-3-1 away from home. In the Champions League they drew Juventus, beat Nordsjaelland but lost to Chelsea and Dortmund.Both sides are a tad weaker than last season, at least at this stage, but I think the market underestimate Sociedad here. Shakhtar hasn’t been in-form in Ukraine and with so many new players coming in it will take time to gel.
Real Sociedad are a good team – any team that play in the Spanish league as they do and qualify for the Champions League are a difficult team. They have the same players as last season and they know how to play together. They're a well-structured team, they have top-class players and they're playing at home in front of their supporters. They have great players like Griezmann, Prieto, Seferovic, Vela, Iñigo Martínez and we have to be ready for them.
Friday: FC Karpaty Lviv 3-2 Shakhtar (Gladkiy 8, Bartulović 51pen 61; Douglas Costa 23, Ismaily 72)
Kanibolotskiy; Kobin, Kucher, Rakitskiy, Ismaily; Stepanenko, Grechyshkin (Ilsinho 57), Douglas Costa (Eduardo 65), Alex Teixeira, Taison (Fred 73); Luiz Adriano.