October 19, Kyiv, NSC Olimpiyskiy, 22:00
The opening rounds showed how confusing the situation in Group D can be with such a selection of opponents. Shakhtar lost to Sheriff in Tiraspol, and then shared points with Inter in a spectacular game, while Real Madrid clinched the win in Milan and lost to the same Sheriff. Now the sides of the Italians Roberto De Zerbi and Carlo Ancelotti will meet twice in a row – on October 19 and November 3.
After the international break, the Miners managed to feel the playing rhythm of the domestic league – in the match against Zorya they showcased great football and claimed a major win (6-1). Goalkeeper Anatolii Trubin and winger Fernando returned to the pitch after injuries: the latter managed to score a double in one half. The team were preparing for the Champions League clash in high spirits, plus a footballer is unlikely to find a better motivational factor than meeting with the likes of Real Madrid in Europe’s strongest competition.
Shakhtar got one loss just before the game – defender Mykola Matviienko was injured. The Miners’ head coach Roberto De Zerbi spoke about this at his press conference.
Preliminary player list
Goalkeepers: Shevchenko, Pyatov, Trubin
Defenders: Dodo, Vitao, Kryvtsov, Marlon, Konoplia, Ismaily, Korniienko, Bondar
Midfielders: Stepanenko, Maycon, Marcos Antonio, Marlos, Tete, Bondarenko, Solomon, Mudryk, Alan Patrick, Sudakov, Pedrinho
Forwards: Dentinho, Sikan, Fernando
Real Madrid flew to Kyiv without Carvajal, Isco, Jovic and Hazard. Carlo Ancelotti spoke about the Belgian on the matchday’s eve. However, the Madrid coach has a fairly wide selection of quality footballers, plus Ferlan Mendy's return to the roster has been good news. The Frenchman missed all games this season – the team had to do without him and Marcelo at left-back. Nobody mentioned the experienced Brazilian, but he is also on the player list, so we cannot rule out that he will be in the starting lineup on Tuesday.
After the FIFA break, Ancelotti's men have not played yet - their MD9 match against Athletic Club in La Liga was postponed to a later date due to the South American teams’ fixtures. Real Madrid set themselves the task of rebooting in some way because before the international break the team failed to win three times in a row: 0-0 vs Villarreal, 1-2 vs Sheriff and vs Espanyol. Although it should be noted that the Meringues are one step away from topping the league table and in the second spot in the Champions League group with quite promising prospects.
The clubs met in two seasons: 2015/16 and 2020/21. The first two matches ended in Real Madrid's favour (4-0 and 4-3), while last year's tie was fully won by Shakhtar (3-2, 2-0). Manor Solomon scored goals both in Madrid and in Kyiv. Dentinho also boasts two goals against Real Madrid.
At Olimpiyskiy on December 1st, the Donetsk team won with a score of 2-0. In the early stages, Asensio hit the post, Trubin saved Benzema’s attempt (later he did the same with efforts by Nacho and Asensio), and Varane injured Moraes who was replaced by Dentinho. It was the Brazilian who was destined to bring Shakhtar in front in the 57th minute. And in the 82nd minute, Solomon received the ball from Maycon, drbbled it into the penalty area and fired an excellent shot to the left corner.