Real Madrid team news ahead of Shakhtar: Benzema, Ramos, Hazard

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has confirmed his squad for Tuesday's clash with Shakhtar Donetsk in Kiev in Champions League Group B.

Real Madrid team news ahead of Shakhtar: Benzema, Ramos, Hazard

Less than 24 hours after Real Madrid’s shock 2-1 home defeat against Alavés, Zinedine Zidane has named his 21-man squad for Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Shakhtar Donetsk in Kiev.

Most notable is the return of Karim Benzema, who has missed Madrid’s last three fixtures due to a muscle injury sustained against Valencia on 8 November. The French striker’s return will be a big boost for Los Blancos ahead of this crucial European clash, which will be followed by back-to-back crunch ties with Sevilla and Atlético Madrid in LaLiga.

Ramos and Hazard out for Real Madrid

However, the bad news is that captain Sergio Ramos has not recovered on time for the trip to Kiev. Ramos has not played since picking up a hamstring industry in Spain’s 6-0 win against Germany on 17 November, but is expected to return for next weekend’s clash with Sevilla at the Pizjuán.

Zidane will also be without Eden Hazard for Tuesday’s meeting with Shakhtar. After limping off in Saturday’s game against Alavés, the Belgian striker had an ultrasound scan on Sunday that proved inconclusive and so will undergo an MRI this Monday.

The former Chelsea man will undoubtedly be frustrated after suffering his seventh injury since his arrival at Madrid in the summer of 2019. He has been available for just six of Los Blancos’ 14 games this season.

Valverde, Carvajal, Jovic also unavailable

Along with Hazard and Ramos, Dani Carvajal (muscle injury), Fede Valverde (shinbone injury), Alvaro Odriozola (muscle injury), and Luka Jovic (coronavirus diagnosis) will also miss the flight to Kiev. In their absence, Zidane has promoted two Castilla players, defender Victor Chust and central midfielder Sergio Arribas, to the first team squad.

After a loss and defeat to Shakhtar and Monchengladbach respectively, Madrid revived their Champions League hopes with back-to-back wins over struggling Inter Milan, who sit bottom of the group with just two points from four games. Now Zidane’s men will look to secure a third consecutive win while avenging their 3-2 defeat at home to Shakhtar on the opening day on 21 October.