Real Madrid will be looking to return to winning ways in the Champions League when they head to Ukraine on Tuesday night to take on Shakhtar Donetsk in Group D.
Los Blancos are currently second in the section, picking up three points from two matches, while Shakhtar have collected just one point from their two games to sit at the foot of the table.
Shakhtar opened their Group D campaign with a disappointing 2-0 defeat at tournament debutants Sheriff Tiraspol, but the Ukrainian giants managed to claim a point at home to Inter Milan at the end of September.
Roberto De Zerbi’s side have a lot of work to do in the section if they are to stand a realistic chance of advancing to the knockout round, but their next three are against Real Madrid (twice) and Inter before finishing their group-stage campaign against a talented Sheriff at the start of December.
Shakhtar will enter the match full of confidence following a 6-1 win over Zorya in the league on Friday, which has left them second in their domestic table, three points behind leaders Dinamo Kiev after 11 matches.
The Ukrainian giants reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League back in 2011, but they have only won four of their last 21 matches in this competition and have managed just five victories from their last 17 home European fixtures.
Shakhtar have previous when it comes to beating Real Madrid, though, recording two wins over the Spanish giants during the group stage of last season’s competition, including a 2-0 home success in December 2020.
Real Madrid, meanwhile, have not actually played since suffering a 2-1 defeat at Espanyol before the international break, as their fixture with Athletic Bilbao, which was scheduled for this weekend, was postponed due to the South American World Cup qualifiers.
Los Blancos have actually lost their last two matches in all competitions, including the incredible 2-1 home reverse to Sheriff on September 28, which has left Carlo Ancelotti’s side second in the section, three points behind Sheriff but two ahead of Inter and Shakhtar.
Real Madrid have the small matter of a trip to Barcelona in the league next weekend but cannot afford to take their eye off the ball in the Champions League due to the unpredictability of this particular section.
The capital giants have actually finished second in their group three times in the last five seasons, and they can never be discounted in this competition due to their incredible success, lifting the European Cup on 13 occasions.
The fact that Los Blancos have not played since the start of October could help them in this match, but a number of their players have been away on international duty, while injury problems have harmed Ancelotti’s side in the opening months of the 2021-22 campaign.
Shakhtar Donetsk Champions League form:
Shakhtar Donetsk form (all competitions):
Real Madrid Champions League form:
Real Madrid form (all competitions):
We say: Shakhtar Donetsk 1-2 Real Madrid
This is a very tough match for Real Madrid, who were shocked by Sheriff in their last Champions League fixture. Shakhtar are more than capable of picking up a positive result on Tuesday night, but we are backing Real Madrid’s quality to just shine through in order to claim an important three points.