Shakhtar coach laughs off bizarre Man City claim ahead of CL clash

New Shakhtar Donetsk coach Luis Castro has laughed off suggestions Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola knows his side better than him.

The Ukrainian champions host City in Kharkiv on Wednesday in Group C of the Champions League.

It is the third successive season the two clubs have been drawn against each other the group stages of Europe’s top club competition.

Guardiola also knows the Ukrainian club well having faced them 11 times during his managerial career.

Castro has only been in charge at Shakhtar for eight games after taking over from Paulo Fonseca in the summer.

Castro said: “If you watch the games it is one thing, but to really know the team you have to train them.

“Watching is not enough. I am training every day and I know what my players are doing. I am sure I know my team better than my opponent does!”

Shakhtar are the dominant force in Ukrainian football having won their domestic double for the past three seasons.

However, they have been unable to play in their home city of Donetsk since war broke out in the region five years ago.

Castro, who will be back on the bench after missing his side’s last game through illness, said: “There are some things that you cannot possibly change, unfortunately.

“The Donbass Arena would normally have 35,000 for each game. It is a great atmosphere, they are great fans there.

“We are not as well supported here but such is life and there are people that do support us from a long distance.”


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