Real Madrid | Champions League Zidane’s side face troubling fixtures
On paper, this is by no means an impossible group for Real Madrid to negotiate, especially if they avoid the injuries of the 2019/20 campaign, however Zinedine Zidane will face tough Champions League matches against Shakhtar Donetsk, Inter and Borussia Monchengladbach.
Antonio Conte‘s charges represent the real test this term, with the Nerazzurri having once again dipped into the transfer market to satisfy the needs of their coach.
Alexis Sanchez has joined on a permanent deal, whilst Achraf Hakimi, Arturo Vidal and Aleksandar Kolarov have represented the major deals made this summer.
Conte‘s team put in some eye-catching performances in the Champions League last season, most notably against Barcelona, but they will be expected to improve upon their third-place finish in the group stage.
Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez‘s partnership is the real problem Zidane will have to negotiate over the course of both matches.
Los Blancos‘ defensive resolve was the factor which took them to the LaLiga Santander title last term, but they will need to be at their best to prevent the perfect combination of power, pace and technical ability from causing them real damage.
Shakhtar Donetsk are the Champions League‘s perennial tough task. Seldom filled with talented Brazilian players, they often cause their opponents problems.
Plagued by the continued need to play their home matches in Kiev, they have struggled to match previous successes of late, however coach Luis Castro will be hoping to cause a surprise.
Real Madrid aren’t infallible, as the 2019/20 Champions League campaign proved.
Club Brugge achieved great success against them by testing their resolve with direct football, and Shakhtar‘s trio of Marlos, Taison and Alan Patrick will be a handful. Perhaps the brightest talent Castro has is Israeli winger Manor Solomon, who has the speed to really test defences.
Borussia Monchengladbach looked like they could be one of the surprise Bundesliga winners of the past 20 years in 2019/20, although they fell away as the season approached winter. However, Marco Rose has his team playing some incredibly attractive football, which secured a top-four finish.
Denis Zakaria is the real leader of the group, capable of playing in either defence or midfield, whilst Marcus Thuram is relied upon for goals in the final third, cutting inside from the left.