UCL Preview : Real Madrid vs Shakhtar Donetsk

Real Madrid host Shakhtar Donetsk at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday in the UEFA Champions League matchday 4.

We look at a few stats to predict the match.

Under Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid have been playing some of the best football and are roaring with sky-high confidence. A 2-0 El Classico victory over FC Barcelona has added more to it, while a win this weekend in La Liga has positioned them on second in the table with still one game in hand. After a surprising defeat to Sheriff in the UCL, Real have made a strong come back after thrashing Shakhtar away from home 5-0 in the last matchday. It has taken them to second place in their group, just behind Sheriff on goal difference. The Los Blancos will certainly love to continue this form and a packed home crowd will give them an edge.

They have so far scored seven goals in the competition, with Vinicius Jr, Karim Benzema and Rodrygo all netting in two goals each. Real Madrid had quite a few problems when it came to scoring in the UCL, but in the last match, it all seemed to be behind them, as they scored five past their opponents and will look to do it again. They have been solid at the back, conceding only two goals. Thibaut Courtois has been in outstanding form, with the Belgian registering two clean sheets.

UCL Preview : Real Madrid vs Shakhtar DonetskThe above viz shows their xT and xG timeline from their last match against the same opponents. Real Madrid were much more threatening in the first half but trailed by 0-1 courtesy of an own goal. In the second half, their domination was lessened by a lot, yet they managed to score four more goals and were much more clinical in the attacking third. They were not just passing the ball around in the second half and were much more dangerous. The xG timeline is the proof that how it skyrocketed in the second half even after a lot of shots in the first 45 minutes. Certainly, they have found a way to cure their problems in the final third of the pitch.

Shakhtar Donetsk have had a nightmarish season till now. They are at the bottom of their group with just one point to show from and are yet to register a victory in the UCL. Roberto de Zarbi would definitely try to get his team back to some sort of winning ways, but a trip to Bernabeu might just not be the fixture they wanted in front of them. However, if they pull something extraordinary out of their back, things could change.

The Ukrainian outfit have several problems on the pitch. They have struggled to string together something concrete up front and have not managed to score a single goal this season. Their leaky defense has not helped their cause either, conceding seven times in three matches. UCL Preview : Real Madrid vs Shakhtar DonetskThe above viz shows Shakhtar’s shots against Real Madrid last time. Most of the shots have been from the edge of the area and easily dealt with by Courtois. Their xG per shot of 0.11 shows how they have struggled to get in good goal-scoring positions and zero goals so far justify that.

IIf these problems prevail again on Wednesday, it might prove even more difficult for them to get past the Los Blancos defense, who have not conceded in the last three matches. With Real Madrid’s attack in the best of form right now, they might repeat the same result from the last game.

We predict a 3-0 victory for the hosts.