Shakhtar Donetsk coach Roberto De Zerbi said Inter ‘are stronger compared to a year ago’ but stressed his side ‘are on the right path’ too.
The Champions League offers another clash of Italian coaches, as Simone Inzaghi’s men face former Sassuolo coach De Zerbi’s Shakhtar.
The 42-year-old moved during the summer and said it’s a different experience playing every three days, but claimed he always wanted the pressure the elite level offers.
Shakhtar, who lost the first Champions League game against FC Sheriff Tiraspol, have won their last three games. During that spell, they have scored 12 goals and only conceded once, picking up De Zerbi’s first trophy in the Super Cup against Dinamo Kiev.
“You do everything underwater because you play every three days, but that’s what I wanted,” De Zerbi said at a press conference.
“I’m having fun because the team is strong, we’re still under construction but the idea of the game is changing, it’s different from last year.
“We are doing well, we are on the right path.”
Tomorrow, Inter arrive in Ukraine and De Zerbi believes Shakhtar face a stronger Nerazzurri than the one from last season.
“Inter are strong,” he said. “Especially mentally, compared to a year ago. Winning the Scudetto was crucial for many players, at least for what they have done in these first games.
“They are stronger than last year in terms of condition and awareness.”
The journalists points out that the Beneamata have lost star players Achraf Hakimi and Romelu Lukaku this summer, but De Zerbi feels the club has done well to ‘replace them’.
“Hakimi and Lukaku are great,” he added. “But they have also replaced them.”