Shakhtar Donetsk hosts Real Madrid in Kiev in a match from Group D of the Champions League. Let’s see what we can tell you about it in our free online soccer betting tips. Are you ready?
Shakhtar Donetsk had a really slow start of their Champions League campaign this season. The Ukrainian giants are 4th in the group with just one point won so far. They are on par with the third Inter Milan, but the Italians have a better stats at this moment. Roberto De Zerbi’s team needs some points as soon as possible, but they have a fearsome opponent against them – the most successful club in the history of the competition.
Shakhtar won their first point in this group in the previous round. The Ukrainians hosted Inter Milan at home and the match ended with no goals scored by both teams – 0-0. Although Shakhtar aimed for the win, sharing the points with a team like Inter is not a bad result at all. It was much more disappointing when Shakhtar lost against the sensation in the group Sheriff.
Roberto De Zerbi used a defensive 4-5-1 formation against the Nerazzurri, knowing them well from the Serie A and being aware of their attacking potential. Lassina Traore started on the top of the attack while Solomon and Pedrinho attacked from the wings. Just like always, Shakhtar has some really strong core of Ukrainian and Brazilian players at the same time. Nothing has changed there in this regard.
Shakhtar prepared for this upcoming game in the best way possible – with a huge win in the Ukrainian Premier League. They hosted Zorya and crushed them with 6-1. This time Fernando started as a striker and he scored twice for the hosts. Pedrinho, Tete and Danylo Sikan added more goals for Shakhtar’s spectacular win.
What’s really interesting is that last season Shakhtar Donetsk faced Real Madrid again in the Champions League and won both times against them – in Ukraine and Spain. They didn’t make anything significant in the competition, but these two wins against Los Blancos remain a wonderful memory for the club’s fans. And here’s something important – these players already have the confidence to face Real Madrid and aim for the win. Roberto De Zerbi must find a way to use this confidence and prepare the team in the best way possible. Shakhtar clearly has some chances here.
Real Madrid approach this visit to Ukraine after some really difficult period of time before the international break. Carlo Ancelotti’s team lost two of its last three games in all competitions, including against Sheriff in the Champions League. Right now Los Blancos are second in the group with 3 points, but they surely need to step up and start winning again. Ancelotti himself is aware that he can’t allow himself to go through a crisis like this in the Spanish capital. Things are very different now compared to his previous club Everton.
Everything went wrong when Real Madrid hosted Sheriff at the Santiago Bernabeu before the break. The Moldovan club shocked the whole world as they won this visit to the capital. Karim Benzema scored for Madrid in the middle of the second half and equalised, but Sebastien Thill sensationally scored a winner in the 89th minute and this was Sheriff’s winning strike – they won the game by 2-1.
It’s not like Ancelotti underestimated this game because he put a very strong line-up on the pitch. Valverde, Casemiro and the new signing Camavinga started in midfield while Vinicius and Hazard partnered Benzema in the attack. In the second half the manager put Kroos, Modric, Rodrygo and Jovic on the pitch, but Sheriff kept their advantage and managed to survive.
Except aiming for the points, against Shakhtar Real Madrid will try to restore their pride as well. What’s good for Los Blancos is that they didn’t have a game in La Liga during the weekend – their match against Athletic Bilbao was postponed. This means that Real Madrid should be really fresh to face the Ukrainians after the international break. Meanwhile Toni Kroos already returned on the pitch after his injury, so most likely the German midfield maestro will start in the line-up. Ancelotti could use his classic midfield trio of Kroos, Luca Modric and Casemiro – three players who know well what’s the feeling to play under huge pressure.
For Ancelotti it’s still difficult to create a winning attacking trident and the main reason for this is Eden Hazard. The Belgian star is a shadow of himself since joining Madrid from Chelsea. Karim Benzema and Vinicius are looking solid in the attack, but Hazard is not convincing enough to be the third man in the attack. Two of Ancelotti’s options for this position are Rodrygo and Marco Asensio while he could also try the new signing Eduardo Camavinga in a more attacking role. One thing is for sure, though – this could be Hazard’s last season in the Spanish capital. So far he’s really a disappointment.
Real Madrid’s manager is still dealing with some injuries as well. The absence of Marcelo and Ferland Mendy is making the left flank of the defense a little bit thin while Dani Carvajal is also unavailable on the right one. Dani Ceballos and Gareth Bale are recovering from injuries as well.
That’s the free online soccer betting tips for the Champions League clash between Shakhtar Donetsk and Real Madrid on Tuesday. The Ukrainian team won twice against Madrid last season, but this is not a guarantee for anything – the situation in football changes very quickly. Both teams need more points at the moment, but we expect to see Shakhtar accepting a more defensive approach here. The Ukrainians surely have the potential to hurt Madrid, but they would try it mainly with the method of counter-attacking. As for Real Madrid – they need to show their best face after a shameful defeat at home in the previous game. Two consecutive losses in the group will be too much for them.