Cristiano Ronaldo
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo had gone eight games without scoring before netting five past Espanyol Reuters

Real Madrid get their Champions League campaign underway with a tie against Ukrainian outfit Shakhtar Donetsk at the Santiago Bernabeu on 15 September.

Where to watch live

Kick-off is set for 7.45pm BST. The game will be broadcast live on BT Sport Extra.


Rafael Benitez takes charge of Real Madrid for the first time in the Champions League – a competition he won as manager of Liverpool in 2005. After opening their La Liga campaign with a dour goalless draw at Sporting Gijon, Real's season has taken flight through back-to-back crushing victories over Real Betis and Espanyol.

All eyes will be on Cristiano Ronaldo, who smashed in five of Real's six goals in the win over Espanyol on 12 September to become the club's all-time La Liga top scorer. The Portugal star is tied on 80 Champions League goals with Barcelona's Lionel Messi and will be motivated to become the outright record holder for most goals scored in the Champions League.

The 10-time Champions League winners are without playmaker James Rodriguez (thigh) and defender Danilo (foot) for the Champions League clash. Shakhtar Donetsk finished runners up in the Ukrainian Premier League last campaign and beat Austrian side Rapid Vienna in a play-off to qualify for the Champions League. The Ukrainians have a poor record in Spain, having won only twice in the country in nine matches.

Mircea Lucescu's side, who reached the quarter-final stage in 2010/11, face a tall order to qualify from the group, with Real and French giants Paris Saint-Germain overwhelming favourites to nab the two qualifying spots.

What managers say

Rafael Benitez: "It was not easy (against Espanyol). We had a good game but there are things we can polish up on. I say that without vanity. Espanyol did a lot of things well, but we pack a good punch up front and we made the most of it. I said that the team was going to attack. We went forward but we also tried to be balanced. I ask the forwards to move around freely in order to create problems. That was the key aspect. It wasn't easy and they did it really well."

Mircea Lucescu: "I think the meeting (against Rapid Vienna) proved spectacular, and the fans enjoyed it. We dominated the first half, created many chances and managed to score. We tried to shift the game to Rapid's half, knowing that they are usually very good at pressing their opponents. For the second half, quite naturally, Rapid came on being more persistent."

Form guide

  • Real Madrid (all competitions): WWDWW
  • Last result: Espanyol 0-6 Real Madrid
  • Shakhtar Donetsk (all competitions): WWDWW
  • Last result: Metalist Kharkiv 0-5 Shakhtar Donetsk

Betting odds (888sport)

  • Real Madrid win: 2/13
  • Draw: 73/10
  • Shakhtar Donetsk win: 14

Team news

Real Madrid possible XI: Navas; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Kroos; Isco, Bale, Ronaldo; Benzema

Shakhtar Donetsk possible XI: Pyatov; Srna, Kucher, Rakytskiy, Azevedo; Fred, Stepanenko; Marlos, Teixeira, Taison; Hladkyi