Karim Benzema will be back in the fold while Eden Hazard misses out as Real Madrid gear up to take on Shakhtar Donetsk in the UEFA Champions League.

Real Madrid will be aiming to book their place in the Round of 16 of the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League when they lock horns with Ukrainian giants Shakhtar Donetsk in their penultimate Group B encounter on Tuesday.

Ahead of the game, Los Blancos have been dealt with another injury setback as star attacker Eden Hazard has been ruled out after coming off injured in the weekend game against Alaves.

Speaking of the Belgian, manager Zinedine Zidane said in his press conference, He’s really strong and has always shown that. It’s just another injury to him and it’s unfortunate for him and for us. These things are happening to many teams and you just have to put up with it.”

Hazard joins the likes of Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal, Alvaro Odriozola, Federico Valverde and Luka Jovic on the sidelines for Real Madrid. Given the number of injuries in the defensive department, Zidane will have to field a slightly weakened backline that will shield Thibaut Courtois between the sticks on Tuesday.

Raphael Varane is a certain starter at the heart of the defence, but could be in change of partners, with Eder Militao likely to start alongside him, moving Nacho Fernandez to the right-back slot. Ferland Mendy, who did not start against Alaves, should return here, replacing veteran full-back Marcelo, who is starting to show signs of decline.

Shakhtar Donetsk vs Real Madrid Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats

Martin Odegaard will be pushing for a start in midfield after making an appearance on the bench. However, Zidane is likely to stick with his tried and tested experienced midfield unit of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro, who was one of the few positives in the defeat to Alaves at the weekend.

At a time when they have been hit with a spate of injuries, there is some good news for Real Madrid as star striker Karim Benzema is fit again and has been included in the 21-man travelling squad to Kyiv. The Frenchman, even if he might not be at 100%, should walk right back into the starting XI, replacing Mariano Diaz as the centre-forward.

On either side of him, there should be changes with Lucas Vazquez starting on the right flank after playing the last game at right-back. On the left, Vinicius Junior should get the nod in the absence of Hazard, although compatriot Rodrygo Goes will be pushing for a start.

Real Madrid Predicted XI: Courtois; Nacho, Varane, Militao, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Vazquez, Benzema, Vinicius Jr.

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