Hyypia warns of Shakhtar threat

Bayer Leverkusen coach Sami Hyypia has warned his side of the attacking threat posed by Shakhtar Donetsk ahead of Wednesday's Champions League clash.

Olexandr Kucher of FC Shakhtar Donetsk in action

The Germans picked up their first win in Group A last time out, an injury-time goal earning them a 2-1 win at home to Real Sociedad.

Another victory against Shakhtar would put Leverkusen in pole position to claim a top-two place, but Hyypia knows it will be far from straightforward.

"Shakhtar have a good team and great individual quality," he told a press conference.

"They have lots of variety in attack and often switch positions. They are better going forward than defending.

"It will be important to communicate a lot and stay strong at the back."

Leverkusen will be glad to get back to playing in the wake of the row which followed Stefan Kiessling's 'ghost' goal against Hoffenheim on Friday. The striker's winner was allowed to stand, despite going through a hole in the side-netting.

He said in an interview with Bayer's official TV channel that the criticism he has received over the incident has been "hard".

But a a win on Wednesday would help focus attention on more positive matters.

Goalkeeper Bernd Leno said: "We could lay a good foundation (for progression, but) Shakhtar are a tough cookie. It will be a very hard game."

The Ukrainians go into the clash one point better off than the hosts, having won in Sociedad and held Manchester United at home.

And coach Mircea Lucescu claims he has plenty of faith in his side.

He told the October issue of Shakhtar magazine: "I have a lot of confidence in my team when we play in the Champions League.

"I'm much more concerned about the Ukrainian Premier League games. It is hard to mobilise the players in the environment we sometimes have to play, with not very good pitches, half-empty stadiums."

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