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Oct 19, 2021 at 8pm UK
ShakhtarShakhtar Donetsk
Real MadridReal Madrid

Antonio (47')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Krivtsov (37' og.), Junior (51', 56'), Rodrygo (65'), Benzema (90+1')

Preview: Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Real Madrid - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Real Madrid - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Champions League clash between Shakhtar Donetsk and Real Madrid, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Real Madrid will be looking to return to winning ways in the Champions League when they head to Ukraine on Tuesday night to take on Shakhtar Donetsk in Group D.

Los Blancos are currently second in the section, picking up three points from two matches, while Shakhtar have collected just one point from their two games to sit at the foot of the table.

Match preview

Shakhtar opened their Group D campaign with a disappointing 2-0 defeat at tournament debutants Sheriff Tiraspol, but the Ukrainian giants managed to claim a point at home to Inter Milan at the end of September.

Roberto De Zerbi's side have a lot of work to do in the section if they are to stand a realistic chance of advancing to the knockout round, but their next three are against Real Madrid (twice) and Inter before finishing their group-stage campaign against a talented Sheriff at the start of December.

Shakhtar will enter the match full of confidence following a 6-1 win over Zorya in the league on Friday, which has left them second in their domestic table, three points behind leaders Dinamo Kiev after 11 matches.

The Ukrainian giants reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League back in 2011, but they have only won four of their last 21 matches in this competition and have managed just five victories from their last 17 home European fixtures.

Shakhtar have previous when it comes to beating Real Madrid, though, recording two wins over the Spanish giants during the group stage of last season's competition, including a 2-0 home success in December 2020.

Real Madrid, meanwhile, have not actually played since suffering a 2-1 defeat at Espanyol before the international break, as their fixture with Athletic Bilbao, which was scheduled for this weekend, was postponed due to the South American World Cup qualifiers.

Los Blancos have actually lost their last two matches in all competitions, including the incredible 2-1 home reverse to Sheriff on September 28, which has left Carlo Ancelotti's side second in the section, three points behind Sheriff but two ahead of Inter and Shakhtar.

Real Madrid have the small matter of a trip to Barcelona in the league next weekend but cannot afford to take their eye off the ball in the Champions League due to the unpredictability of this particular section.

The capital giants have actually finished second in their group three times in the last five seasons, and they can never be discounted in this competition due to their incredible success, lifting the European Cup on 13 occasions.

The fact that Los Blancos have not played since the start of October could help them in this match, but a number of their players have been away on international duty, while injury problems have harmed Ancelotti's side in the opening months of the 2021-22 campaign.

Shakhtar Donetsk Champions League form:
  • L
  • D

Shakhtar Donetsk form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W

Real Madrid Champions League form:
  • W
  • L

Real Madrid form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • L

Team News

Shakhtar will be without the services of Lassina Traore for the remainder of the season due to a serious knee problem, while Junior Moraes is also still on the sidelines with a cruciate knee ligament injury.

Traore's issue, which occurred in the early stages of the clash with Inter on matchday two, means that there could be a start in the final third of the field for Tete, who came off the bench to score twice in Friday's league success over Zorya.

The likes of Ismaily, Taras Stepanenko, Manor Solomon and Andriy Pyatov should also return, as head coach De Zerbi prepares to make changes to his starting side.

As for Real Madrid, Eden Hazard was back training on the grass on Sunday, suggesting that the Belgium international could be included in the travelling squad.

However, Dani Carvajal, Ferland Mendy, Dani Ceballos, Isco and Gareth Bale are still recovering from their respective injury problems and will not be involved in Tuesday's contest.

Mariano Diaz, Eduardo Camavinga, Marcelo and Marco Asensio could be involved, though, while Eder Militao and David Alaba are expected to be passed fit in time for the fixture.

Ancelotti could revert back to a 4-3-3 formation here, with Rodrygo joining Vinicius Junior and Karim Benzema in the final third, while Luka Modric could drop down to the bench.

Shakhtar Donetsk possible starting lineup:
Pyatov; Dodo, Marlon, Matvienko, Ismaily; Pedrinho, Maycon, Stepanenko, Patrick, Solomon; Tete

Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Nacho, Militao, Alaba, Marcelo; Valverde, Casemiro, Kroos; Vinicius, Benzema, Rodrygo

We say: Shakhtar Donetsk 1-2 Real Madrid

This is a very tough match for Real Madrid, who were shocked by Sheriff in their last Champions League fixture. Shakhtar are more than capable of picking up a positive result on Tuesday night, but we are backing Real Madrid's quality to just shine through in order to claim an important three points.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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