Shakhtar Donetsk ready to spring shock

Bayern Munich v Shaktar Tonight: Allianz Arena, 7.45pm TV: Sky Sports 1, Setanta

Shakhtar Donetsk coach Mircea Lucescu is confident his side can stun “the strongest team in the world” and tonight pull off one of the biggest ever Champions League upsets in Munich.

Having ground out a 0-0 draw in the home leg three weeks ago, the Ukrainians arrive at the Allianz Arena knowing a win or even a scoring draw against Bayern would see them progress at the expense of one of the favourites for the title.

The example of Basel from three years ago, when the Swiss side took a 1-0 lead to Munich only to lose 7-1 on aggregate, shows how dangerous the German club can be at home.

That does not mean Shakhtar will go the same way, though.

“They are the strongest team in the world at the moment,” said Shakhtar coach Mircea Lucescu.

“I’m perfectly aware we are facing an extremely difficult second leg in Munich, Bayern cannot afford to leave the competition so early. The final will be played in Berlin, so they will do their best to be there.

It will be Bayern’s duty to ensure that nothing unpredictable happens as they go in search of a fourth final appearance in six years, having won only one of their previous three showpieces.

“We can feel the pressure,” said Bayern defender Holger Badstuber. “The Champions League is very important.

“It’s a do-or-die game against really strong opponents. The first-leg result is dangerous, but we’re in front of our own fans and we’re confident.”

Bayern will be without the suspended Xabi Alonso, who picked up a red card in the first leg, and his place is likely to be taken by David Alaba, playing in midfield rather than at full-back.

Philipp Lahm is not a candidate to fill in there just yet, though, despite returning to training this week for the first time since fracturing his ankle last October.


Shane Johnson was part of dance music group Fish Go Deep whose debut album spawned a UK chart hit. He recalls the creation of that landmark record.B-Side The Leeside: Cure and the Cause and the Lil' Hand that rocked the dancefloor

In a new daily feature, Arts editor Des O'Driscoll lists the best things on the box for the evening aheadWednesday's TV Highlights: Veg-growing tips, and a gripping kidnap drama feature among today's best

Dr Gero Baiarda dispels the biggest misconceptions.10 coronavirus myths tackled by a GP

Indulging in a little comfort eating lately? Worry not – with Easter just around the corner Maresa Fagan looks at how chocolate can be good for your heart, head, and healthFive genuine health reasons to enjoy chocolate this Easter weekend

More From The Irish Examiner