Bayern Munich forward Thomas Muller says it will be 'surreal' to play against Shakhtar Donetsk in war-torn Ukraine for their last-16 Champions league tie tonight.
Due to the ongoing violence within the Ukraine over the last year, the domestic champions have been forced to play their home games over 600 miles (966 km) away in the western city of Lviv. Their home stadium the Donbass Arena even being damaged by shelling since the violence began.
According to the BBC, Muller said: "You know there is a terrible war out there, but you don't really realise it because you don't really know such a situation.
"It's hard to grasp to be playing against a team that is based in a crisis area. It's a surreal situation."
"It's hard to grasp to be playing against a team that is based in a crisis area. It's a surreal situation"
The 34,900 capacity Arena Lviv, home of Ukrainian Premier League side Karpaty Lviv is expected to be sold out for tonight's encounter with Bayern, as Shakhtar aim to win at home against last season's semi-finalists for the first time in 35 years.
Shakhtar captain Darijo Srna has agreed that not playing in Donetsk this evening is a disadvantage for tonight's hosts.
"For us, it's a big problem, because we are not playing at home, we are playing away, a new arena," said the 32-year-old.
"You don't have the power like you have at the Donbass Arena. It is something special, it's our stadium, it's our fans, it's our city."
After suffering a shock 4-1 loss to nearest title challengers Wolfsburg at the beginning of the year. Bayern go into tonight's fixture on the back of an 8-0 thrashing of Hamburger SV from the weekend.
That was a match that Muller himself netted twice in, and having won their last two matches the Bavarians will be looking to continue where they left off against Shakhtar tonight. They will however remain without captain Phillip Lahm, who is still recovering from an ankle injury sustained earlier in the season.
Despite not having played a competitive fixture since December due to the winter break. In Luiz Adriano, Shakhtar possess the Champions League's top scorer having already added nine to his tally this term. The Brazilian became the first player to ever score four goals in the first half of a Champions League tie when he bagged four against Belarus side BATE Borisov.
A feat that attracted the attention of many European heavyweights and saw Italian side AS Roma nearly sign him during the winter transfer window. Brazilian youngster Bernard is also set to sit out the clash as he to recovers from an ankle injury that has kept him sidelined for the majority of this season.