Champions League: Real Madrid team news, possible line-up vs Shakhtar
Real Madrid face Shakhtar Donetsk in Champions League Group B on Tuesday knowing they will seal their place in the last 16 with a win.
Update, Tuesday 18:00 CET - Shakhtar Donetsk vs Real Madrid: confirmed line-ups
Real Madrid have lost Eden Hazard to injury, but they welcome back Karim Benzema, who has been included in the squad to face Shakhtar Donetsk after missing Los Blancos' last three games with a muscle issue picked up in this month's LaLiga defeat at Valencia.
Benzema in the frame to start against Shakhtar
And despite head coach Zinedine Zidane usually being ultra cautious when it comes to reintroducing players coming back from injury, Benzema looks to have a very good chance of starting on Tuesday as Madrid take on the Ukrainians in Kyiv on matchday five of Champions League Group B.
Real Madrid without Ramos and both recognised right-backs
One man who will be missing once more is injured captain and centre-back Sergio Ramos, whose absence from the defence is compounded by Zidane’s lack of an out-and-out right-back, with Dani Carvajal and Álvaro Odriozola both sidelined with muscle problems. Having deputised in central defence in recent games, utility man Nacho Fernández may shift to the right given that the returning Éder Militao now looks to be ready to start at the heart of the backline.
Zidane is also without midfielder Fede Valverde, who is out with a leg fracture, and striker Luka Jovic, who remains in isolation after testing positive for the coronavirus.
Two Castilla players in Real Madrid squad
The Madrid boss has taken a 21-man squad to Ukraine - a travelling party that features two Castilla players in defender Víctor Chust and midfielder Sergio Arribas, who was handed his first-team debut in Los Merengues’ LaLiga opener against Real Sociedad in September.
Real Madrid's potential starting XI against Shakhtar
Zidane’s possible starting line-up against Shakhtar is: Courtois; Nacho, Militao, Varane, Mendy; Modric/Odegaard, Casemiro, Kroos; Vázquez, Benzema and Vinicius. This leaves a substitutes’ bench comprising: Lunin, Altube, Chust, Marcelo, Modric/Odegaard, Isco, Arribas, Asensio, Rodrygo, Vinicius and Mariano.
Casemiro one yellow card away from a ban
Casemiro is one booking away from picking up a one-match ban that would see him miss the home game against group leaders Borussia Mönchengladbach on matchday six. If they beat Shakhtar, Madrid will go into that clash already through to the last 16.
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