Familiar foes are set to trade tackles at the Santiago Bernabeu as Real Madrid and Shakhtar Donetsk meet in the Champions League group phase for the third season on the spin.
So far so good for Madrid as they’ve won both opening Group F fixtures without conceding, including a 2-0 home triumph over RB Leipzig last time out.
Yet Los Merengues’ 100% win ratio across all competitions this season went out of the window at the weekend when Karim Benzema spurned a late penalty in a 1-1 La Liga draw with Osasuna at the Bernabeu.
Despite being knocked off their perch by the Spanish minnows, Carlo Ancelotti’s men are still warm favourites to extend their six-game winning streak in the Champions League group stages.
Safe at the top of Group F, Madrid would solidify their bid to progress to the competition’s knock-outs for the 28th consecutive season by beating Shakhtar here.
However, the Ukrainians have been nothing short of impressive in Europe thus far this term. After a thumping 4-1 win at Leipzig on day one, they held Celtic to a 1-1 draw to seize control of a coveted runner-up spot.
Igor Jovicevic’s men are better off avoiding resting on their laurels if they are to advance to the Champions League round of 16 for the first time since 2017/18.
With third-placed Celtic three points behind, there’s still everything to play for in what promises to be a keenly-contested battle for a second-place finish.
After a brace of H2H defeats in the 2020/21 Champions League group phase, Madrid humbled Shakhtar in both last season’s groups via an aggregate score of 7-1.
The reigning Champions League holders will be without first-choice goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who remains the last shot-stopper to keep a clean sheet against Los Merengues in Europe, doing so 137 games ago.
Benzema will be under the spotlight as the Frenchman looks to open his Champions League account for the season following a record-equalling 2021/22 campaign.
Visiting Shakhtar make this journey in inspiring form following a 6-1 demolition of Metalist Kharkiv in the Ukrainian Premier League at the weekend.
Unbeaten in competitive action since November 2021, the Miners will fancy their chances at the Bernabeu, where they’ve scored three times on their two most recent visits (W1, L1).
High scoring has been a common theme across Shakhtar’s three Champions League clashes against Madrid in Spain as each produced at least three goals, highlighting the potential for an action-packed contest.
Real Madrid vs Shakhtar Donetsk Potential Line-ups
Real Madrid (4-3-3): Andriy Lunin; Dani Carvajal, Eder Militao, David Alaba, Ferland Mendy; Federico Valverde, Aurelien Tchouameni, Toni Kroos; Rodrygo, Karim Benzema, Vinicius Junior.
Shakhtar Donetsk (4-5-1): Anatoliy Trubin; Lucas Taylor, Valeriy Bondar, Matviyenko, Yukhym Konoplya; Marian Shved, Artem Bondarenko, Taras Stepanenko, Herohiy Sudakov, Mykhaylo Mudryk; Danylo Sikan.
How to Watch?
Madrid vs Shakhtar, alongside all other matches in Europe’s most prestigious club competition this season, is available to watch online via Champions League live streams.
And if you are interested in attending a future Champions League game, see our Champions League tickets page for more information.
Real Madrid vs Shakhtar Donetsk Prediction
Despite Shakhtar’s impressive Champions League start, it’s hard to see anything other than Madrid’s clear-cut victory in what promises to be a one-sided affair.
Real Madrid 3-0 Shakhtar Donetsk
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