Real Madrid

Real Madrid predicted lineup vs Shakhtar Donetsk - Champions League

Sean Walsh
Madrid have found some form in recent weeks
Madrid have found some form in recent weeks / LLUIS GENE/GettyImages

Real Madrid host Shakhtar Donetsk in one of Wednesday's early Champions League clashes, knowing a win at the Santiago Bernabeu could help them reclaim top spot in Group D.

Their defeat against Sheriff on matchday two means they sit below the Moldovan champions in the table, and Inter are hot on their heels just two points behind them.

Carlo Ancelotti's side dismantled Shakhtar 5-0 in the reverse fixture a fortnight ago, but will be desperate to secure their first home win in Europe this season in order to avoid another dogfight for qualification from the group stage.

Here's the XI the Italian should pick on Wednesday night...

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

David Alaba
Alaba has quickly established himself in defence / Aitor Alcalde Colomer/GettyImages

Thibaut Courtois (GK) - Undisputed number one at the club and Real need a win, so probably not the time to rotate keepers.

Lucas Vazquez (RB) - Somehow hasn't joined Arsenal or Everton yet, but hey, he'll do a job at least.

Eder Militao (CB) - Finally growing into his own at Los Blancos, though that's probably been helped by the lack of competition for places in his position.

David Alaba (CB) - Real's most commanding defender nowadays. Standing at 5'11".

Ferland Mendy (LB) - Marcelo has enjoyed some fruitful cameos recently but Mendy is still ahead of him in the pecking order.

2. Midfielders

Luka Modric
Modric should get a rare start / Aitor Alcalde Colomer/GettyImages

Casemiro (DM) - Even after all these years, Casemiro seems pretty irreplaceable in Real's midfield.

Toni Kroos (CM) - Really rolled back the years in recent weeks with some stellar displays.

Luka Modric (CM) - Yep, it's time for the ol' gang to get back together in the middle of the park.

3. Forwards

Eden Hazard
Hazard needs a big performance / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Vinicius Junior (RW) - He has grabbed a lot of the headlines this season, and deservedly so. His compatriot Rodrygo might have been handed a start if fit, though.

Karim Benzema (CF) - Probably not going to win the Ballon d'Or even if he scores two hat tricks in this one. Sorry, Karim.

Eden Hazard (LW) -
If Hazard can't even turn it on at home to Shakhtar, then he really shouldn't be playing for Real Madrid.