Guardiola relishing Shakhtar challenge

Pep Guardiola is relishing the challenge Shakhtar Donetsk will pose Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League last 16.

The two clubs will meet for the first time after being drawn together on Monday, but Bayern coach Guardiola knows the Ukrainian champions well having faced them on numerous occasions while in charge of Barcelona.

And the Spaniard expects a tough test when they meet again next February.

"Bayern have never played against Donetsk, but I have five times, four times in the Champions League and once in the Super Cup, and I even lost to them once," Guardiola said.

"Mircea Lucescu is one of the best coaches in Europe.

"They have many good Brazilians, young talented players who always like to attack.

"I am looking forward to the ties and I think it will be an excellent match as both teams like to attack.

"I have a lot of respect for the opponent."

Guardiola went on to stress that he will not allow his players' minds to drift to the Champions League yet as they look to cement their place at the top of the Bundesliga.

Bayern host Freiburg on Tuesday before travelling to Mainz on Friday for their final game before the mid-season break.

"I cannot accept a reason for saying tomorrow [against Freiburg] is not the most important game for us at the moment," Guardiola added.

"We have to prepare well."