Ukraine's football champions are about to start their new season in the top-level European competition among clubs. Currently, Shakhtar will play the opener in their UEFA Champions League performance in 2020-21. The opponent is the most decorated team in Europe, Real Madrid; and, as if that wasn't bad enough, the Mountaineers are somewhat weakened in terms of their line-up.
Due to the detected cases of Covid-19 among the staff, Shakhtar could not delegate their players to the national team. Besides, the training process was suspended. The outcome is a vezxing one: several players from the starting eleven did not go to Madrid. Taras Stepanenko, Moraes and Taison will not be able to help their team. Viktor Kovalenko stays home, too; he suffered an injury in the game against FC Lviv.
The Spaniards have already played several games this season. They had a tie with Real Sociedad, then defeated Levante, Valladolid and Betis. However, shortly before the Champions League game, Madrilenos lost to Cadiz. Given the fact that Los Blancos are to stand against Barcelona this weekend, Shakhtar could use Real's tough schedule as an advantage against their opponents tonight.