Shakhtar Donetsk immediately took the underdog role on the day of the draw as the Ukrainian club face Feyenoord in the Europa League’s round of 16, Voetbal International reports.
The two clubs were linked to each other on Friday afternoon in the eighth final of the Europa League.
Feyenoord coach Arne Slot complimented Shakhtar, but also admitted that there were “one or two teams that were a bit stronger in advance”.
Shakhtar coach Igor Jovicevic admits they face a tough task with Feyenoord.
“Our opponent is a top team,” says the Croatian.
“They are at the top of the league. These will be tough matches where the opponent is the favourite, but we will fight to the last gasp and believe that we can create another miracle.”
Jovicevic is referring to the elimination of Stade Rennais in the intermediate round of the Europa League.
Shakhtar counted their lucky stars in the knockout round play-offs against Ligue 1 side Rennes when the French club scored an own goal to gift Jovicevic’s side an opportunity on penalties.
Striker Kevin Kelsy slotted home the penalty to secure the shock win in Brittany as Shakhtar won 5-4 on penalties in sudden death and Jovicevic has sent a warning to his Dutch counterparts.
“The favourite doesn’t always win. We have to believe in our journey to Budapest,”
Europa League’s final will take place at the Puskas Arena in Budapest.