Real Madrid Predicted XI vs. Shakhtar Donetsk: Luka Jovic to Start?

Real Madrid, Luka Jovic (Photo by Ricardo Nogueira/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images )
Real Madrid, Luka Jovic (Photo by Ricardo Nogueira/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images ) /

Real Madrid prepare to make their mark in the first Champions League game of the season.

Real Madrid prepare for their first UEFA Champions League match of the season as they take on Shakhtar Donetsk with a little more pressure than they would have liked to have for this game. After a shocking 1-0 loss to Cadiz during the weekend and a Clasico coming just three days after this game, Los Merengues will feel like a solid performance on the night will go a very long way.

Predicted Lineup:


He may not have had the best outing against  Cadiz but there is no denying that Thibaut Courtois is the best choice in goal and will continue to take his place between the sticks for the time being. It will be great once we can see Andriy Lunin make his debut for the club but that won’t be until probably the Copa del Rey.


With Alvaro Odriozola and Dani Carvajal still out injured, we should expect to see Nacho Fernandez as our right-back once again. In the center, Raphael Varane will possibly see a new partner next to him as Eder Militao is expected to make his first start of the season.

Sergio Ramos was taken off at half-time against Cadiz with pain in his knee so I don’t see any reason to risk the captain for this game with the Clasico coming up soon afterwards. On the left, Ferland Mendy will be expected to take his place after Marcelo started the weekend game.


With Zidane making a lot of changes particularly to the defense during the weekend, we should expect to see a sense of normalcy again. Carlos Casemiro should be getting his starting position back with Toni Kroos slotting in front of him. Luka Modric looked absolutely exhausted during the first half against Cadiz and will need to be rested while Federico Valverde could start during this match.

Can we expect Zidane to make a surprising change?


Here is where things could get a little interesting for Zidane. He chose to start with Lucas Vazquez on the right flank but that won’t be happening again during this game. Rodrygo Goes is the best man for the job if the manager wants to rest Marco Asensio while the left flank will be taken over by Vinicius Junior who should have more than enough fuel in him to compete in three competitive matches over the course of the week.

I’ll admit that this is a massive call but can we maybe see Luka Jovic start? Karim Benzema has not only not been at his best but rest could do him a world of good before El Clasico. Starting Jovic will do wonders for the Serbian striker while Benzema will be on the bench to come on if necessary.

Next. Real Madrid: 3 players who must be excellent with Martin Odegaard injured. dark

Full Predicted Lineup:

Thibaut Courtois, Nacho Fernandez, Raphael Varane, Eder Militao, Ferland Mendy, Carlos Casemiro, Toni Kroos, Federico Valverde, Rodrygo Goes, Vinicius Junior, Luka Jovic