Real Madrid turn their attention to the Champions League on Tuesday night as they travel to Shakhtar Donetsk on matchday three of Group D.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side will be desperate to change their fortunes, having lost their previous two fixtures. Los Blancos were shocked on home turf in their last European clash, losing 2-1 to minnows FC Sheriff Tiraspol, before falling to the same score line at Espanyol last time out.
Those first two defeats of the 2021/22 campaign place Real in their worst run of form since Ancelotti’s return to the dugout, as they face a Shakhtar side who sit bottom of Group D after also losing to Sheriff and drawing with Inter.
Here’s how Los Blancos could lineup for their Champions League away day on Tuesday.
Lucas Vazquez (RB) – With Dani Carvajal a doubt – again – it could fall upon Vazquez to deputise at right-back once more.
Nacho Fernandez (CB) – He’s been a relatively solid performer for Real Madrid this campaign, and should retain his place at the heart of defence.
David Alaba (CB) – Was a doubt for Tuesday night after receiving a knock on international duty but, fortunately, seems set to take up a place in central defence in the likely absence of Eder Militao.
Miguel Gutierrez (LB) – Ferland Mendy could be fit enough to return to the squad but, in the spirit of managing game time, youngster Gutierrez should get the nod.
Casemiro (DM) – The steely and impenetrable anchor at the base of the Real Madrid midfield, Casemiro is surely in line for another start.
Federico Valverde (CM) – If you want dynamism, this is your man. In a midfield that was criticised for its languor last term, Valverde is a much-needed injection of vigour.
Toni Kroos (CM) – For that bit of ageless class and a boundless passing range, Ancelotti could opt for Kroos – although Luka Modric is another option for the Italian.
Rodrygo (RW) – Gareth Bale is a certain absence while Eden Hazard is a major doubt, likely leaving the door open to Golden Boy nominee Rodrygo to impress.
Karim Benzema (ST) – There aren’t many – if any – players better than this man in the world right now. He is ineffable in this vein of form and is obviously the first name on the team sheet.
Vinicius Jr (LW) – Started the campaign in brilliant form with nine goal involvements in ten games thus far. An easy pick for Ancelotti at the moment.