Shakhtar Donestk without 10 first-team players for Real Madrid clash due to Covid-19: “It’s a nightmare,” says coach

Ukrainian giants Shakhtar Donestk have 10 first-team players unavailable for their Champions League clash against Real Madrid today due to positive Covid-19 tests.

The club’s boss Luis Castro has claimed that the situation is a “nightmare” with a total of 19 positive tests across the club, with multiple absentees for their trip to Madrid.

As outlined by El Pais, captain and goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov is one of the players who is ruled out, with Brazilian stars Taison, Alan Patrick and Junior Moraes said to be among those unavailable, along with defender Mykola Matviyenko and vice-captain Taras Stepanenko.

There have been suggestions that the game should be called off with Shakhtar having so many players unavailable, but the reports outlines how the club still have more than 13 players available – which is the minimum for UEFA – as they have 15 of their 25-man squad still available.

“This is a nightmare,” said boss Castro. “It is a nightmare for all humanity; and to the extent that teams are a segment of society, it will also affect us. I never thought something like this could happen to us. Running out of so many footballers for a game. Is incredible. But it is the world we have today.”

Shakhtar won the Ukrainian title against last season and reached the Europa League semi-finals before losing to Inter.

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