Real Madrid are back in Champions League action in Ukraine to take on Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday.
Real are coming off a disappointing 2-1 loss to Alavés over the weekend in La Liga. Alternatively, the European campaign has been going well as Real are on a two-match win streak after downing Inter in back-to-back matches. Real are second in Group B, just a point trailing Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Shakhtar are in a bit of a lull after losing their last two group stage matches. They have not registered a win since their first match of the campaign against Real. Likewise, Real have not lost in the group stage since that same match.
This is will be a tough road match will Real Madrid still dealing with injuries and the list continuing to expand out of the weekend. With a disappointing match in their domestic campaign, it’s important for Real to continue their success in the European one and potentially seal a spot in the Round of 16.
There are still several key injuries for Real Madrid including Dani Carvajal, Alvaro Odriozola, Sergio Ramos, Fede Valverde and Luka Jović. Eden Hazard is the latest to be added to the injured list with a thigh injury that will keep him out about three weeks. Karim Benzema, however, is back in the squad.
Shakhtar will be without Ismaily, Viktor Kornienko, Yevgen Konoplyanka and Maksym Malyshev.
There are no suspensions in Tuesday’s group stage clash.
Pyatov; Dodo, Kryvstov, Bondar, Matviyenko; Marlos, Stepanenko, Alan Patrick; Tetê, Solomon, Moraes
Courtois; Vazquez, Varane, Nacho, Mendy; Modrić, Casemiro, Kroos; Ødegaard, Vinicius, Benzema
With no starting right back available still, we will likely see Lucas Vazquez fill in the role.
Marco Asensio started on the right side against Alavés, there’s a chance Zidane gives him the nod again or opts for Martin Ødegaard instead. Eden Hazard injured again likely means Vinicius will start on the left side.
Getting Karim Benzema back is a big boost for Los Blancos. Should he be ready to start, he will likely do so over Mariano who was filling in for Benzema.
Shakhtar—Real Madrid 1-2
This is going to be both a tough and important match for each side on Tuesday. From Real’s perspective, they can clinch a Round of 16 berth with a win. From Shakhtar’s, a win keeps them in the hunt for a spot themselves.
Real were unable to get a win in La Liga over the weekend, that must change here in the Champions League. The injuries are setbacks, but Real must be able to pull through with the quality talent they still have available. Having Benzema available is a huge boost to the attack with the loss of Hazard.
Certainly a win cannot be taken for granted as Real know well what happened the first time they played Shakhtar this season. Shakhtar were able to take down Real 3-2 at the Di Stefano while missing a heap of players due to injuries.
The circumstances Real are facing on the road are the toughest so far. They’ve done well the past couple of matches to make progress in this Group B, it would be ideal to get the job done fully in Donetsk and move on to the next round.