Real Madrid will be travelling to Ukraine to face Shakhtar Donetsk in the third game of Group D of the 2021-22 UEFA Champions League season. The 13-time UCL winners started their campaign with a 1-0 victory over Inter away from home. On matchday 2, the footballing world saw one of the biggest upsets as UCL debutants FC Sheriff defeated Real Madrid 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu. With one and one defeat, Real Madrid are second in the table with three points, only behind FC sheriff who have six. Shakhtar Donetsk started their campaign with a 2-0 defeat against FC Sheriff, followed by a goalless draw against Inter. They have just one point from their two games and are bottom of the group on goal difference.

Real Madrid have shown good domestic form under Carlo Ancelloti, as they are second in the La Liga standings, with 17 points from their eight games. They are only behind Real Sociedad in the standing, who have three more points than Madrid but have also played an extra game. The Galacticos have proven to be the best attack in pain at the moment, and Ancelloti will be hoping to take that form into the European stage. Shakhtar have also had a decent start to their domestic campaign, as they are only behind Dynamo Kyiv in the league standings. They are also the joint best attack in their domestic league, and both teams will look to obtain maximum points from this match to boost their chances of qualifying for the knockout stages.

UEFA Champions League Preview Stats: Shakhtar Donetsk vs Real MadridCarlo Ancelloti’s Real Madrid have scored a goal each in their opening two games of the campaign. They were able to grind a 1-0 win away from home against Inter but lost 2-1 at home to FC Sheriff. The above viz is the shot map for the Galacticos in their defeat to FC Sheriff. One can notice that they had a lot of ball possession, took almost 30 shots in the game and hit the target more than 10 times. Still, after so much domination on the pitch, they were not clinical in finishing and only scored one goal. FC Sheriff were able to score twice to beat them, which will be a worrying sign for Ancelloti.

UEFA Champions League Preview Stats: Shakhtar Donetsk vs Real Madrid

The Los Blancos won their opening game against Inter away from home, showing good overall performance on the field. Their passing zones for that match show that they had a large number of passes in midfield, and utilized the width of the pitch by having a lot of passes on both wings. They showed creativity with smart passes and also put in a decent number of crosses in the match. They have shown that they are in good form, ut need to be more clinical in front of the goal to get the results they want.

UEFA Champions League Preview Stats: Shakhtar Donetsk vs Real Madrid

The above viz is Shakhtar Donestk’s shot map against FC Sheriff, when they suffered a 2-0 defeat on the opening day of the 2021-22 UCL campaign. The viz shows that Shakhtar did have a lot of ball possession, and had many more attacks in the match. Like Real Madrid, they also had a lot of shots(22) in the match, with many from outside and inside the box. The problem they faced was that they did not find the back of the net, and Sheriff players were able to break on the counter and score twice.

UEFA Champions League Preview Stats: Shakhtar Donetsk vs Real Madrid

On matchday 2, while facing Inter at home, Shakhtar did not have a lot of the ball and have fewer goal scoring opportunities. they were good defensively as the match ended in a goalless draw, As visible from the viz above, they completed most of their passes in the midfield area, but lacked the number of crosses and smart passes in the match. Maybe, they earned from their game against FC Sheriff and are now focusing more on their defence before going forward.

As discussed, both teams have faced the problem of finishing as they have not been able to score goals that give justice to the number of chances created. Shakhtar are yet to score in this campaign, and Real have scored just twice. The game between these two clubs will be a neck-to-neck contest, and the team that is more clinical in front of the goal should come out victorious.

Shakhtar Donetsk’s possible starting XI
GK: Andriy Pyatov, RB: Dodo, CBs: Marlon and Mykola Matvienko, LB:  Ismaily, CDM: Taras Stepanenko, RW: Pedrinho, CMs: Maycon Barberan and Alan Patrick, LW: Tete, ST: Lassina Traore

Real Madrid possible starting XI
GK: Thibaut Courtois, LB: Nacho, CBs: Eder Militao and David Alaba, RB: Marcelo,         LCM: Luca Modric, CDM: Casemiro, RCM: Toni Kroos; LW: Vinicius, ST: Karim Benzema, RW: Rodrygo