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Real Madrid team news, possible starting XI against Shakhtar

Real Madrid go to Kyiv to take on Shakhtar Donetsk on matchday three of the 2021/22 Champions League group stage.

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Real Madrid team news, possible starting XI against Shakhtar
GLEB GARANICH REUTERS

Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti has taken a 22-man squad to Kyiv for Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Shakhtar Donetsk, a side who last season beat Los Blancos home and away in the group stage of Europe’s top club competition.

Trio ruled out of Champions League clash

Madrid have flown to Ukraine without Eden Hazard, Isco and Luka Jovic, who have all been ruled out by injury. Hazard returned from the international break with muscle issues after playing for Belgium in the Nations League finals, while Isco has a back problem and Jovic was unable to travel after picking up a knock to the foot in Madrid training. These three players join Dani Carvajal (calf), Gareth Bale (thigh) and Dani Ceballos (ankle) in the Bernabéu sick bay.

Mendy and Marcelo back from injury

However, there is good news for Ancelotti with the return to fitness of left-backs Ferland Mendy and Marcelo, who are both in Madrid’s travelling party. Mendy has been out since May with a shin problem, and Marcelo is back from a hamstring injury suffered a month ago.

Valverde and Vinícius back from Brazil, Uruguay duty

Madrid also welcome back Vinícus Júnior and Federico Valverde after their absence on international duty for Brazil and Uruguay, respectively, led to the postponement of the 13-time European champions' weekend LaLiga clash with Athletic Club.

Due to his accumulated game time for Madrid and Uruguay, it’s possible Valverde will start on the bench, in which case Rodrygo Goes, who wasn’t a part of Brazil’s squad this month, is expected to play. Vinícius is set to join Karim Benzema in attack, while Casemiro is poised to return to the midfield alongside Luka Modric and Toni Kroos.

In defence, Madrid are likely to be unchanged from the defeat to Espanyol last time out, with Lucas Vázquez, Éder Militao, David Alaba and Nacho lining up in front of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

Possible Real Madrid XI vs Shakhtar Donetsk:

Courtois, Lucas Vázquez, Militao, Alaba, Nacho, Modric, Casemiro, Kroos, Valverde/Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinícius