Preview: Real Madrid vs. Shakhtar Donetsk

Preview: Real Madrid vs. Shakhtar Donetsk

Real Madrid will be bidding to make it three straight wins in Group F when they continue their Champions League campaign at home to Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday night.

Los Blancos have beaten Celtic and RB Leipzig in their opening two European matches to sit top of the section on six points, while Shakhtar are second, having claimed four points from their first two games.

Real Madrid lifted the European Cup for the 14th time in their history when they beat Liverpool in last season’s final, and the Spanish champions are again among the frontrunners for the trophy this term, with the team already in a strong position to reach the last-16 stage of the competition.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side opened their Group F campaign with a 3-0 victory over Celtic on September 6 before recording a 2-0 win over RB Leipzig last time out, and a total of six points has left them top of the section, two points clear of second-placed Shakhtar ahead of the clash between the two sides.

Real Madrid’s nine-game winning run at the start of the 2022-23 campaign was broken on Sunday, though, as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Osasuna in La Liga, which has left them second in the table behind Barcelona.

A busy month will see the Whites face Shakhtar twice in the Champions League, in addition to RB Leipzig, while they will take on Getafe, Barcelona, Elche, Sevilla and Girona in Spain’s top flight, with the season due to break in November for the 2022 World Cup.

Real Madrid will be the favourites to record a third straight victory in Group F on Wednesday, but they lost home and away to Shakhtar in the group stage of the 2020-21 competition, with the Ukrainian giants recording a 3-2 victory at Bernabeu on matchday one.

Shakhtar might have beaten Los Blancos twice during the 2020-21 Champions League, but they lost twice to the same opponents in last season’s group stage, including a 2-1 defeat at Bernabeu.

The Ukrainian champions finished bottom of their Champions League group last season, but they did make it to the knockout round in 2017-18, losing to Roma in the round of 16, while the team made the quarter-finals in 2010-11, being eliminated by Barcelona.

Shakhtar have made an impressive start to their Group F campaign, recording a 4-1 victory away to RB Leipzig in their section opener on September 6 before playing out a 1-1 draw with Celtic in their next game, and a total of four points has left them second ahead of their double-header with Real Madrid.

Igor Jovicevic’s side will enter this match off the back of a 6-1 victory over Metalist Kharkiv in the league on Saturday, which has left them top of their domestic table on 13 points.

There will once again be eyes on Mykhaylo Mudryk, who has impressed in the Champions League this season, scoring twice and providing two assists in two appearances, while he has two goals and six assists in six outings in all competitions this term, and a number of top-level sides, including Arsenal and Liverpool, are said to be interested in his signature.

Real Madrid Champions League form:
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Real Madrid form (all competitions):
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Shakhtar Donetsk Champions League form:
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Shakhtar Donetsk form (all competitions):
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We say: Real Madrid 2-1 Shakhtar Donetsk
Shakhtar are more than capable of picking up a result on Wednesday, and we are expecting this to be an uncomfortable match for Real Madrid. The reigning champions have been so strong at the start of this season, though, and we are backing them to put another three points on the board.

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