Real Madrid are set to host Shakhtar Donetsk at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano on Wednesday in their next UEFA Champions League fixture.
Real Madrid come into this game on the back of a surprising 1-0 loss to Cadiz on Saturday in La Liga. Honduras international Anthony Lozano scored the only goal of the game early in the first half to ensure victory for Alvaro Cervera's men.
Shakhtar Donetsk, on the other hand, thrashed Lviv 5-1 on Saturday in the Ukrainian Premier League. A brace from Ukraine international midfielder Viktor Kovalenko and goals from young Brazilian Marcos Antonio, forward Dentinho and Israeli attacker Manor Solomon secured a comfortable win for Luis Castro's side.
Brazilian forward China scored the consolation goal for Lviv.
Real Madrid vs Shakhtar Donetsk Head-to-Head
In two previous encounters between the two sides, Real Madrid hold the clear advantage. They have won both their games against Shakhtar Donetsk.
Real Madrid form guide in La Liga: D-W-W-W-L
Shakhtar Donetsk form guide in the Ukrainian Premier League: D-D-W-D-W
Real Madrid vs Shakhtar Donetsk Team News
Real Madrid have a few injury concerns to deal with. Young Norwegian midfielder Martin Odegaard, right-back Dani Carvajal and forward Eden Hazard are all out due to injuries. There remain doubts over the availability of key centre-back Sergio Ramos, right-back Alvaro Odriozola and attacker Mariano Diaz.
Injured: Martin Odegaard, Dani Carvajal, Eden Hazard
Doubtful: Sergio Ramos, Alvaro Odriozola, Mariano Diaz
Meanwhile, Shakhtar Donetsk have no known injury issues and manager Luis Castro is expected to have a fully-fit squad at his disposal ahead of this Champions League encounter.
Real Madrid vs Shakhtar Donetsk Predicted XI
Real Madrid Predicted XI (4-3-3): Thibaut Courtois, Nacho Fernandez, Raphael Varane, Eder Militao, Ferland Mendy, Casemiro, Toni Kroos, Federico Valverde, Marco Asensio, Karim Benzema, Rodrygo
Shakhtar Donetsk Predicted XI (4-3-3): Anatoliy Trubin, Dodo, Valeriy Bondar, Davit Khocholava, Viktor Korniyenko, Maycon, Marcos Antonio, Viktor Kovalenko, Marlos, Dentinho, Tete
Real Madrid vs Shakhtar Donetsk Prediction
Real Madrid will be the clear favourites heading into this game. Despite the potential absence of captain and influential defender Sergio Ramos, Los Blancos have a talented deputy in Eder Militao as well as the reliable Raphael Varane in defence.
Shakhtar Donetsk, on the other hand, will rely on talented midfielder Viktor Kovalenko, who has been linked with some top clubs across Europe, as well as forwards like Dentinho and Marlos to provide the breakthrough.
Real Madrid have a talented squad and should be able to beat Shakhtar Donetsk in this opening Champions League group stage encounter.
Prediction: Real Madrid 3-1 Shakhtar Donetsk
Published 19 Oct 2020, 16:22 IST