13-time Champions League winners Real Madrid host Shakhtar Donetsk in Group B action. Los Blancos went out in disappointing fashion at the Round of 16 stage in the previous campaign and a run late in to the tournament is a minimum requirement. The visitors, Inter and Borussia Monchengladbach complete a tough lineup for Zinedine Zidane’s troops.
Where and when: Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid – 21 October, kick-off 17:55
Where you can see Real Madrid vs. Shakhtar Donetsk: BT Sport 1
Last time: Madrid came out on top in an extraordinary seven-goal thriller in 2015. Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric, Dani Carvajal, Alex Teixeira and Dentinho were all on the scoresheet.
Real Madrid v Shakhtar Donetsk Predictions and Preview
If all squad personnel are available, the Madrid eleven largely picks itself. Serial winners Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane and Carvajal comprise the back four and the skipper is influential at both ends of the pitch.
The 34-year-old has turned out for Los Blancos for the best part of 16 years and, astonishingly, is nearing a century of goals for the Spanish heavyweights. Ramos has 98 efforts to his name, and only Karim Benzema netted more for Real in 2019-20. The Juventus target is a threat at set pieces but also takes spot kicks and is available at 11/2 to open proceedings.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
|Real Madrid to win 2-0||13/2||Offer|
|Rodrygo to score last||11/2||Offer|
|Over 3.5 goals||13/8||Offer|
Third captain Benzema has also given incredible service to the club and fully merits the recognition he receives. The Frenchman worked tirelessly while Ronaldo and Gareth Bale got the goals and the plaudits but was fundamental to the side as they regained La Liga in July. The hitman is 13/5 to break the deadlock and has won club football’s biggest prize on four occasions.
Eden Hazard has reportedly ruled himself out until he is fully fit with Marco Asensio and Vinicius expected to occupy the wide berths. The Rio de Janeiro native has struck twice from his first three appearances and is 11/8 to bag anytime. Los Blancos are 2/9 to get off to the perfect start in the Champions League, ahead of the mouthwatering domestic showdown with Barcelona.
The travelling party will be without talisman Junior Moraes who is in self-isolation. The Brazilian born striker has over 50 goals in his last two campaigns and Luis Castro has a selection dilemma on his hands with no alternative forward option.
Dentinho is likely to be utilised as an emergency attacker with Taison and Alan Patrick in support and the Donetsk ace is 15/2 to notch anytime. Shakhtar are 13/1 to emerge triumphant and a draw is 5/1.
One to watch for Real Madrid: Martin Odegaard has the trust of Zidane and has been promised a big role in all competitions. The Norwegian playmaker is 13/2 to score last.
One to watch for Shakhtar Donetsk: Taison is nearing a decade at the current champions and contributed double figures last season. There is added responsibility on the South American who is 9/1 to register first.
Long shot: Real Madrid and the Nerazzurri are the favourites to advance to the knock-out phase and, historically, the bigger outfits tend to qualify with a game or two to spare. Los Blancos will want to lay down a marker and a comfortable 4-0 success is 12/1.