Real Madrid will look to maintain their 100% start to the UEFA Champions League 2022/23 season when they host Shakhtar Donetsk. Both teams are unbeaten in the competition this season and sit at one and two in Group F.
Real Madrid lost their record of a 100% start to the season when they drew against Osasuna in the LaLiga this weekend. However, Ancelotti’s men are the clear favourites to win the group after managing to win their previous two matches. Real Madrid secured a 3-0 victory away at Celtic and a 2-0 victory at home against RB Leipzig. They average 2.5 goals per match and have an average xG rate of 1.56. The defence is strong and averages 1.08 xGA per match.
Shakhtar Donetsk earned a 4-1 victory over RB Leipzig in the opening match and played a 1-1 draw against Celtic in their last match. The Ukrainian side averages 2.5 goals and has a low xG rate of 0.61 per match. The defence has conceded two goals, with an average xGA rate of 1.55 per match.
We now look at some of the stats that could predict the outcome of the match.
Real Madrid’s attacking zones
Real Madrid play in a 4-3-3 formation and will go into this match as the favourites to win. They will be on the front foot, and this means that the midfield two will take a more advanced role. The above viz shows the average position and the passing zones of Real Madrid against RB Leipzig. This shows that Aurelien Tchouameni will play the holding role and allow the other two midfielders to make forward runs. The left-back also plays an attacking role, and this means that most of the attacks will be created from that particular side.
The hosts average 32 positional attacks and 12.5 shots per match. They like to create these attacks from the centre as well as from the left side. In the last match, Real Madrid created 39 attacks, and half of them came from the left side. Vinicius Junior will lead the attack from that side.
Shakhtar have played a very defensive line in the last two matches. The average position of most of their teammates was inside the defensive half. They also target the left side for attack. However, the Ukrainian side only averages 13 positional attacks and five shots per match. The average is low, but the conversion rate is high. They might find it difficult to stop Real Madrid from scoring. The defence has a low win rate of 51.4% for defensive duels and 38.5% for aerial duels. They need to play at their best to get any points from this game.
Karim Benzema returned to action this weekend after missing three games. The Frenchman missed a penalty on his return and that cost his side their 100% record for the season. Benzema will be fired up for this match and will look to add more goals to his three-goal tally. The Frenchman is carrying the team on his shoulders and Carlo Ancelotti will hope that his striker gets into form going into a busy season before the World Cup.
Shakhtar Donetsk have an upcoming winger in their ranks. Mykhailo Mudryk has impressed many with his performances this season and is already on the transfer radar of a few clubs. The 21-year-old has scored and assisted twice this season in the UEFA Champions League. On counterattacks, he will pose the greatest threat.
There is positive news in Real Madrid’s camp as Lucas Vazquez and Luka Modric are back in the team. Both these players are likely to start on the bench. However, Thibaut Courtois and Dani Ceballos are ruled out with injuries.
There are no new injury concerns in the Shakhtar Donetsk camp.
Real Madrid will look to maintain their 100% record in the UEFA Champions League and finish at the top of the group standings. They will face a defensive Shakhtar side and that might allow them to improve the goal difference of the team. Shakhtar Donetsk will look to cause an upset against the defending champions.
Visuals via Wyscout and the TFA data viz engine