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Official: Real Madrid starting XI against Shakhtar Donetsk



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

Real Madrid want to bring radical changes in Spanish refereeing system – report



Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Jose Felix Diaz has reported via MARCA that Real Madrid want a major change in the Spanish refereeing system.

The reporter writes that the team from the Spanish capital has taken the issue as their top priority mostly because of what happened in the recent derby defeat against Atletico Madrid

Los Blancos are determined to relentlessly steer a significant overhaul of the refereeing structure, and they have no intention of resting in their pursuit. 

Their discontent comes not only from recent events, particularly the contentious derby match but also from a deep-seated frustration with the state of refereeing itself.

Real Madrid not hiding their discontent

The journalist mentions that Real Madrid are unapologetic about their continuous criticism of the refereeing community, firmly believing that a transformation is of utmost importance.

Even prior to the emergence of the Negreira case, the Merengues had been vocal about their dissatisfaction with those responsible for overseeing the refereeing unit. 

For what it is worth, the revelation of the former vice president of the CTA’s financial ties to Barcelona only solidified Real Madrid’s resolve to advocate for a complete overhaul in referee management.

Real Madrid are not happy with refereeing decisions (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images)

Real Madrid are suspicious

Real Madrid firmly assert that any influence from Negreira’s historical decisions in certain key positions raises suspicions about the fairness of the competition. 

For that, the management will do everything in its power to achieve a certain level of transparency within the organization that it believes is currently overshadowed by historical baggage.

As of today, Real Madrid continue to voice their concerns through their official channels.

Right now their ultimate goal is to eliminate the involvement of Clos Gomez in VAR decisions, marking the beginning of a long-standing battle they are fighting.

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