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Official: Real Madrid starting XI against Shakhtar Donetsk

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Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Real Madrid will be looking to confirm their progression to the Round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League when they face Shakhtar Donetsk in Warsaw in a couple of hours.

Ahead of the vital game, manager Carlo Ancelotti has released the starting lineup that will take the field against the Ukrainian giants.

As expected, the Real Madrid manager has made several notable changes to the side that started at the weekend against Getafe, keeping in mind the first El Clasico of the season later this week.

Andriy Lunin is one of the players who retains his place in the lineup from the La Liga clash, owing to the injury to Thibaut Courtois. Antonio Rudiger has also kept his spot in the Los Blancos defence, but there are wholesale changes around him.

Lucas Vazquez comes in for Dani Carvajal at right-back while Ferland Mendy replaces David Alaba at left-back. Nacho Fernandez gets the nod to partner Rudiger at the heart of the Madrid defence against Shakhtar.

Moving into the middle of the park, Aurelien Tchouameni has been retained by Ancelotti. The Frenchman is flanked by the duo of Federico Valverde and Toni Kroos, with Luka Modric getting a rest.

Karim Benzema returns to spearhead the Real Madrid attack after being left out against Getafe. He will be supported by Rodrygo Goes from the right flank while, in a surprise selection, Eden Hazard slots in on the left-wing, with Vinicius Jr being rested ahead of the Clasico.

Real Madrid Starting Lineup: Lunin, Vazquez, Rudiger, Nacho, Mendy, Valverde, Tchouameni, Kroos, Rodrygo, Benzema, Hazard.

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Real Madrid News

‘We will see’ – PSG manager coy on Kylian Mbappe’s future

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain manager Luis Enrique has asked for patience regarding Kylian Mbappe’s future, saying that everyone must wait for the player and PSG to make an official announcement.

Now that the Ligue 1 team has qualified for the UEFA Champions League semi-final, the player is rightly expected to focus on the continental glory, keeping aside his impending move to Real Madrid.

Speaking after his side’s 4-1 win over Barcelona in the UCL quarter-final, Enrique said that he cannot comment on anything unless Mbappe himself releases a statement.

“Let’s wait for Kylian to speak about his future. When Mbappe and PSG will speak in public, we will see,” said Enrique as quoted by Fabrizio Romano.

“It’s like a process. Until Mbappe goes and speaks in public, I’m just here waiting and staying silent,” he added.

What’s going on with Mbappe?

Mbappe’s time with PSG is coming to an end as his contract expires this season, and if reports are to be believed, he has chosen to depart as a free agent.

Reports suggest he is set to join Real Madrid, with rumours of a contract already in place.

Kylian Mbappe scored two goals against Barcelona. (Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images)

Now, it was suggested that PSG’s elimination from the Champions League could have hastened the process, potentially bringing Mbappe’s move to Madrid closer. 

However, their qualification for the semi-final, and the chance of facing Real Madrid in the final, mean any official announcement will likely be delayed.

As for the player, he revealed after the match that his future will not change even if PSG go on to win the UEFA Champions League. 

“Playing for the team from my country’s capital is very special, I dreamed of these play-offs when I came to PSG. It’s a great day for the club,” said the forward.

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