Real Madrid can all but assure their participation in the next phase of the Champions League with a win at Shakhtar Donetsk. Zinedine Zidane’s troops have turned things around in Europe, outclassing Inter 2-0 on Wednesday, and the feat was all the more impressive considering the lengthy absentee list.
Where and when: Olimpiyskiy National Sports Complex, Kyiv – 1 December, kick-off 17:55
Where you can see Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Real Madrid: BT Sport 1
Last time: Donetsk famously beat Los Blancos 3-2 in Madrid with a host of first-teamers self-isolating or on the treatment table.
Shakhtar Donetsk v Real Madrid Predictions and Preview
Luis Castro will again be without Viktor Kovalenko for the visit of the Spanish champions. The talented midfielder averages one in two this term and is self-isolating after contracting COVID-19. Marlos, Alan Patrick and Manor Solomon will support Junior Moraes and the Brazilian born forward is 19/2 to hand the home dressing room the lead.
Moraes has been prolific during his time nine-year spell in the Ukrainian Premier League and also has a very respectable return in the European format. Alan Patrick is 13/4 to strike anytime and Donetsk are 13/2 to do the double over Madrid and a draw is 5/1.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
|Vinicius to score last||11/2||Offer|
|Real Madrid to win 2-0||10/1||Offer|
|Under 3.5 goals||11/10||Offer|
Elsewhere, Casemiro should be fit to start but star duo Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema remain on the sidelines. Los Blancos skipper picked up a hamstring injury on international duty and is likely to be out for the next fortnight. Ramos is influential at both ends of the pitch, while Benzema is equally important.
On a more positive note, Eden Hazard stepped up against the Nerazzurri and will hope to put his injury hell behind him. The Belgian has endured a torrid time in the capital but is one of the outstanding performers in his position and 9/2 to break the deadlock. The former Chelsea idol will link up with Martin Odegaard, Mariano and Lucas Vazquez with Luka Modric and Toni Kroos sitting in front of a backline lacking leadership.
After various spells on loan, Zidane has placed great trust in Odegaard and the Norwegian playmaker is 11/5 to register anytime. Benzema’s deputy Mariano is 16/5 to open proceedings and with Luka Jovic out of contention, the Premià de Mar is set for a prolonged run in the team. Los Blancos are 3/10 to chalk up the victory and avenge their humiliating loss in October.
One to watch for Shakhtar Donetsk: Tete hit the headlines in the reverse fixture, scoring one and providing another and it was a night to forget for Marcelo. The Brazilian ace is 14/1 to net last.
One to watch for Real Madrid: Vazquez has edged out compatriot Marco Asensio in recent weeks and is trusted by Zidane to carry out a certain role. The speedster is 14/5 to bag anytime.
Long shot: Donetsk still have a chance of qualifying for the Round of 16 but Castro’s top priority will be to ensure his troops are playing in Europe next year in some capacity. The hosts currently hold third spot and with Inter in turmoil, a point from the final two matches could be enough. A 0-0 outcome is 35/1.