Fenerbahçe to face Shakhtar in Champions League show down
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULJul 27, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Jul 27, 2015 12:00 am
Fenerbahçe will square off against Ukrainian team Shakhtar Donetsk as the new flashy transfers Robin van Persie and Nani face a tough test if they are to set up a possible reunion with Manchester United in the Champions League playoffs. Fenerbahçe and Shakhtar Donetsk will face one another in the Champions League third qualifying round. The Turkish club signed Robin van Persie and Nani from Manchester United this summer but face a stern test against the Ukrainian side, which has featured regularly in the tournament in recent years. The game will be the 10th official challenge of Shakhtar's head coach, Mircea Lucescu, against Fenerbahçe. Lucescu, who is known well by Turkish football fans, has become a rival after many years. Lucescu worked as head coach for Fenerbahçe's archrivals Galatasaray and Beşiktaş. Out of nine matches he won, lost and drew in three of each.
Meanwhile, Fenerbahçe's Portuguese head coach Vitor Pereira said he only wanted one thing from his players ahead of the match: "At the end of the match I want my players to think that they can say to themselves they dedicated their lives to this match. We have analyzed Shakhtar Donetsk pretty well. I know Lucescu well and he knows me well, too. Shakhtar is a team that does not have many secret sides." New star signings, including Dutch forward Robin van Persie and Portuguese winger Nani are expected to start against Shakhtar.
The Ukrainians may lack their three Brazilian regulars in the tough clash in Istanbul. Winger Douglas Costa was transferred by Bayern Munich; striker Luiz Adriano moved to Italian Serie A club AC Milan and defensive midfielder Fernando left Shakhtar for Sampdoria this summer. Fifteen matches will be played today and Wednesday.