Real Madrid Predicted XI vs Shakhtar Donestsk: A Final Chance for Mariano?

Mariano Diaz of Real Madrid (Photo by Ricardo Nogueira/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)
Mariano Diaz of Real Madrid (Photo by Ricardo Nogueira/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images) /
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Will Mariano Diaz have one final chance for Real Madrid?

Real Madrid prepare to take on Shakhtar Donetsk after losing 3-2 to the Ukrainian club on the opening day of the UEFA Champions League this season. Ever since then, Los Blancos have been able to make their position in the group more acceptable due to a draw against Borussia Monchengladbach and two victories over Inter Milan but they’ll still need to beat Shakhtar to make their road into the next round a little easier.

Goalkeeper

A terrible mistake against Alaves over the weekend shadowed another great performance by the goalkeeper but Thibaut Courtois is still in top form and will be expected to come out with another solid display on Tuesday night. The final score against Alaves could have been a lot worse if it wasn’t for his presence in goal.

Defenders

With Real Madrid still missing a natural right-back, it looks as though Lucas Vazquez will be placed there once again while the center pairing will continue to be Nacho Fernandez and Raphael Varane.

It’s interesting to see this as Eder Militao is also back but judging by how this partnership with Varane has gone in the past few attempts, Zidane may not be eager to rush him back just yet especially when he’s lacking in match fitness. On the left, Ferland Mendy will be starting again after he was rested for the majority of the match during the weekend.

Midfielders

Zidane has a few options that he can choose from when it comes to his midfielders but there is a good possibility that we will see Luka Modric benched for this match. With Carlos Casemiro expected to start as the defensive midfielder, the players in front of him will be Martin Odegaard and Toni Kroos.

Even though it could be a good idea to rest Kroos, we have seen how much it has hurt us in the past and therefore, it really isn’t a risk worth taking at the moment. Benching Kroos will probably mean starting Isco, who has been inconsistent regardless of the showing during the weekend with rumors circulating that he could leave this season.

Forward

Some good and bad news came our way this week as it is yet not known how badly Eden Hazard is injured but Karim Benzema has returned to full training. With these changes, we could see Rodrygo Goes on the right after impressing off the bench during the weekend with Marco Asensio coming out with a poor display.

On the left, Vinicius Junior will need to take this chance to improve and show that he’s capable of stepping up again. Up front, I still believe we’ll see Mariano Diaz start the game. Benzema has just returned and starting a game now is too risky especially with some massive games coming up over the next couple of weeks. The French striker will get some minutes but should not be starting yet.

Next. Real Madrid: 3 possible attacking lineups at Shakhtar Donetsk without Eden Hazard. dark

Full Predicted Lineup

Thibaut Courtois, Lucas Vazquez, Nacho Fernandez, Raphael Varane, Ferland Mendy, Carlos Casemiro, Martin Odegaard, Toni Kroos, Rodrygo Goes, Vinicius Junior, Mariano Diaz