Real Madrid will lock horns with a familiar opponent in Shakhtar Donetsk in the third matchday of the UEFA Champions League 2022/23 on Wednesday night at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Ahead of the game, Real Madrid have released the full squad list of players for the encounter against the Ukrainian giants.
As expected and confirmed by manager Carlo Ancelotti, Thibaut Courtois is not in the squad as he recovers from sciatica. The Belgian is unlikely to be rushed back into action with Los Blancos wanting him to be ready for El Clasico in two weeks’ time.
Instead, Andriy Lunin will step into the lineup in goal as he did at the weekend against Osasuna. Luis Lopez and Lucas Canizares will act as his understudies.
Dani Ceballos is another notable absentee for Real Madrid, with Ancelotti confirming in the pre-match presser that the midfielder has picked up a hamstring injury.
There is some positive news as well, as Lucas Vazquez has returned to the squad after missing the last three matches due to injury.
Luka Modric is also welcomed back into the fold by the Real Madrid boss after the veteran was not part of the match against Osasuna due to a minor knock. Eduardo Camavinga, who had trained in the indoor facilities on Monday, is also fit and named in the squad list.
Karim Benzema, Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo Goes, Eden Hazard, Marco Asensio and Mariano Diaz form the attacking contingent for the Spanish capital club.
Real Madrid preparing ‘huge summer revolution’ with three mega targets
Real Madrid were relatively less active than usual during the recently-concluded winter transfer window, with the club not making any notable moves in the transfer market.
However, the coming summer could be an important one for the club, especially with a string of players having their contracts expiring at the end of the season. While the Merengues have already prepared for renewals, they are also keen on strengthening the squad by bringing in new players.
To that end, a report from Tomas Gonzalez suggests Real Madrid are planning for a ‘big revolution’ in the coming summer.
The Spanish champions have identified three top targets in the form of Jude Bellingham, Dusan Vlahovic and Josko Gvardiol. The club are determined to sign all three targets in the coming summer, as they look to shore up their options in every position.
Bellingham has been linked with a move to Real Madrid for quite some time now, with various reports claiming that the Englishman is the club’s priority target in the summer as they look to find a long-term replacement for Luka Modric.
As far as Gvardiol is concerned, the Croatian was one of the best-performing defenders in the World Cup. Although a centre-back by trade, Gvardiol’s ability to operate at left-back should make him an excellent asset for Carlo Ancelotti, who has struggled with depth in the fullback spots this season.
Vlahovic, meanwhile, was reportedly offered to Real Madrid during the summer transfer window. The Whites were not too keen on splashing the money in the middle of the season, but it appears they are considering a move for the Serbian in the summer.
Vlahovic will likely be considered as a direct replacement for Karim Benzema, who has had issues with injuries. The Frenchman, in fact, has recently suffered a knock in the game against Valencia and is likely to be ruled out against Mallorca on Sunday.