Goal.com - Home

Zenit St Petersburg's Luciano Spalletti wary of 'old wolf' Mircea Lucescu and Shakhtar Donetsk in Champions League

The Italian knows his team must improve if they are to have any hopes of making it through the group, but an experienced side stand in their way

By Salvatore Landolina

Oct 31, 2011 21:14:00

Luciano Spalletti - Zenit (Getty Images) Zenit St Petersburg coach Luciano Spalletti is not underestimating Shakhtar Donetsk for Tuesday's Champions League Group G clash, but he is expecting an aggressive reaction from the Ukrainians, calling their coach Mircea Lucescu an old wolf.

Despite Shakhtar being without a number of key players for the game in Russia, Spalletti has told his players not to take any chances.

"They are without [Dmytro] Chygrynskiy, Fernandinho and Jadson but that does not weaken Shakhtar," Spalletti told the press.

"The problem Lucescu has is that he must leave some good players out. And those players who get a chance to start will be very motivated to prove their skill and class.

"I know Lucescu, he's an old football wolf, noble and wise, but look at our logo – there is a lion. Now we will see who is stronger: a lion or a wolf."

Zenit are second in the group on four points, one behind leaders APOEL Nicosia. Shakhtar are bottom with just two points from three games.

Kick-off in St Petersburg is at 18.00CET.

How do you stay up with football when on the move? With http://m.goal.com –your best source for mobile coverage of the beautiful game.