- Real Madrid begin their quest to win a 14th UEFA Champions League title tonight
- Both teams have many players missing due to injuries
Real Madrid start their 51st European Cup campaign tonight in a home match against Shakthar Donetsk. Los Blancos were disappointing in their last two Champions League seasons, exiting the competition in the Round of 16 after being knocked out by Ajax and Manchester City respectively.
Real play tonights match after a disappointing 1-0 defeat against Cadiz at home. The struggle to create organized and flowing attacks in offense continues as Real Madrid have a lot of difficulties scoring. To make things harder for Zidane, captain Sergio Ramos will not be a part of the squad tonight due to an injury.
The two teams have played twice previously, with Real Madrid winning both games, scoring eight times whilst conceding only twice.
Los Blancos will rely on Benzema tonight and hope that a defense without Sergio Ramos will hold its ground on the other side.
Injuries & Suspensions
Real Madrid continue to struggle with injuries as Sergio Ramos is the latest player to join the long list of already injured players. Eden Hazard, Alvaro Odriozola, Dani Carvajal, Mariano & Martin Odegaard are all injured and are not part of tonight’s squad.
Shakthar Donetsk are not without worries either. They will be missing 9 key players tonight.
With no Ramos in defense Zidane is likely to start Militao in his place. The Brazilian has played 45 minutes against Cadiz after Ramos got injured just before half-time. With no right-backs available Zidane will have to pick either Nacho or Lucas Vazquez to cover the position. Mendy could also play there but he will most likely be starting on the left, where Marcelo has performed poorly this season.
Real Madrid Potential Starting Lineup: Courtois, Nacho, Militao, Varane, Mendy, Casemiro, Kroos, Modric, Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo, Benzema.
Coming off a weekend loss at home against Cadiz, Los Blancos will be looking to get back to winning. Shakthar are not an easy test, but they are missing many players. However, if Real Madrid struggle to attack or concede first then the game could be an uphill battle for Zidane’s men.
Score Prediction: Real Madrid 1-0 Shakthar