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UEFA Cup final - Shakhtar braced for Bremen brawn-Lucescu
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - The last UEFA Cup final will be a clash of German brawn and Ukrainian technique, Shakhtar Donetsk coach Mircea Lucescu said ahead of their clash with Werder Bremen in Istanbul on Wednesday.
"We'll watch a game performed in two very different styles. Bremen are an attacking side with very good physique. They have some very strong athletes on the team," he said.
"Shakhtar Donetsk's style is based on the good technique of our players and we will try and control the game," the Romanian told a news conference on Tuesday.
The Ukrainian side, who have reached their first European final, have no injury worries but will be without suspended midfielder Tomas Huebschman.
By contrast Werder Bremen, Cup Winners' Cup winners in 1992, have been hit with a host of suspension and injury problems.
Playmaker Diego is banned but would have probably missed the final anyway having torn his thigh muscle in training. Fellow Brazilian Naldo faces a race to be fit after a groin injury.
"I would like to have seen how the Brazilian players would have faced each other," said Lucescu, whose squad features five Brazilians.
Lucescu said he would wait until after a training session later on Tuesday before deciding his final lineup.
Shakhtar, who beat Barcelona 3-2 at the Nou Camp in the Champions League last December, have helped boost the level of Ukrainian football, he added, building on the country's profile before it co-hosts Euro 2012 with Poland.
This will be the 38th and last UEFA Cup final, having been first contested in 1971-72 after replacing the Fairs Cup.
From next season UEFA's second-tier competition becomes the Europa League, a rebranded and expanded affair that European soccer's governing body hopes will give it renewed impetus.
The final will be staged at the Sukru Saracoglu stadium (capacity 53,586), which is home to Fenerbahce.
The venue is familiar to Lucescu who had spells in charge of Fenerbahce's Istanbul rivals Galatasaray and Besiktas.
"This is a city I love a lot," he said. "I was here for four years and those years brought me a lot of happiness. They were good years in my professional career."
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