Eden Hazard misses out with another injury while Miguel Gutierrez and Casemiro are set to start when Real Madrid face Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League.
Real Madrid will be raring to get back to winning ways when they lock horns with Shakhtar Donetsk in Group D of the UEFA Champions League at the NSC Olimpiyskiy in Kyiv on Tuesday night.
Heading into the game, manager Carlo Ancelotti has been handed a few injury boosts as Ferland Mendy is fit and available for selection again while Marco Asensio has shaken off his niggle to be in contention as well. However, Eden Hazard misses out yet again after picking up another fresh injury.
Speaking of the Belgian in his pre-match presser, the manager said: “Hazard is tired of having the minor issue he’s had and is working on it. He isn’t available due to excess load, but he’ll be available again soon, for the game against Barcelona or the Osasuna match.” In addition to Hazard, the likes of Dani Carvajal, Gareth Bale, Dani Ceballos and Isco are all ruled out of the contest as well.
Real Madrid opted to start with Andriy Lunin in goal for the last Champions League game against Sheriff Tiraspol. However, Thibaut Courtois is very much expected to feature when they take on Shakhtar. Eder Militao and David Alaba are the undisputed starters at the heart of the Los Blancos backline.
Even though Mendy is back available, it is unlikely that he will be rushed back into action. Instead, academy prospect Miguel Gutierrez is expected to get the nod at left-back yet again. Nacho could move out to the right-back slot, with Lucas Vazquez missing out of the starting lineup for Real Madrid.
Federico Valverde has been one of Real Madrid’s top performers so far this season. However, he could be benched on Tuesday night as Ancelotti looks to accommodate the experienced midfield trio of Luka Modric, Casemiro and Toni Kroos against Shakhtar.
Speaking of his options in midfield, the manager said: “Kroos, Casemiro and Modric are players who continue to compete at this level because they’re top players. We’ve got young players who are pushing to play, including Valverde, Blanco and Camavinga. We have to consider the ages of each of them and the opportunities to give the young players game time to allow them to gain experience. Our midfield is up there amongst the best.”
Two of the three slots in attack are pretty much nailed on, with Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior being guaranteed starters owing to their form and importance to this Real Madrid setup. The remaining spot in the frontline is likely to fall to Rodrygo Goes, who should get the nod ahead of Asensio and Vazquez.
Real Madrid Predicted XI: Courtois, Nacho, Militao, Alaba, Gutierrez, Modric, Casemiro, Kroos, Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius Jr.