There’s an air of deja vu about Group D in the Champions League.
Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Shakhtar Donetsk were all drawn against each other in the group stage last year, along with Borussia Monchengladbach.
This time around, the German side have been replaced with a newcomer, as Sheriff Tiraspol become the first-ever Moldovan club to compete in the Champions League.
Here are some of the most notable past fixtures between these teams.
Inter Milan vs Real Madrid
While last season’s league campaign was a resounding success for Inter, their Champions League quest was a bit of a car crash, winning just once and finishing bottom of the group.
They were beaten twice by Madrid. The first came in an exciting 3-2 at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano, with Rodrygo scoring a winner in the final ten minutes.
The reverse fixture ended 2-0, thanks to an Eden Hazard penalty and an Achraf Hakimi own goal.
But there have been far bigger clashes between these two. Los Blancos defeated the Italian side in two European Cup semi-finals in 1966 and 1981.
They went on to win the former but lost in the final in the latter.
But it hasn’t always been negative for the Nerazzurri. They claimed their first piece of European silverware in the 1964 final against the Spanish club.
Alessandro Mazzola bagged a double, and Aurelio Milani scored as Inter Milan won 3-1, with Felo netting for Madrid.
Their fans will have happy memories on their return to the Bernabeu Stadium.
It was in the Spanish capital where they won their most recent Champions League, defeating Bayern Munich in the 2010 final after Diego Milito’s brace.
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Sheriff Tiraspol
Believe it or not, there has actually been a previous meeting between this pair. It came during the 2003/04 Champions League qualifying rounds.
The Ukrainian side were the winners of the tie, defeating their opponents 2-0 on aggregate. The first leg finished 0-0, but goals from Zvonimir Vukic and Brandao ensured their progression.
Inter Milan vs Shakhtar Donetsk
If last season is anything to go by, this match is definitely not one to watch.
Both games ended 0-0 – although there was a fairly comical moment where Romelu Lukaku blocked a goal-bound header from his own player, which ultimately cost Inter a place in the knockout stage.
The Belgian’s luck was a bit better against Shakhtar in the Europa League semi-final in 2020.
Antonio Conte’s men emphatically reached the final with a 5-0 win. Lukaku and strike partner Lautaro Martinez both scored twice, with Danilo D’Ambrosio also finding the target.
Real Madrid vs Shakhtar Donetsk
Shakhtar went into both games against Madrid last season as huge underdogs, so it came as a shock when they managed to take all six points off them.
In the away game, the Hirnyky raced into a surprise three-goal lead before half-time. Tete and Manor Solomon bagged for the visitors, with Raphael Varane putting into his own net.
Luka Modric and Vinicius Junior scored early second-half goals to threaten a comeback, but it finished 3-2.
Then, at the Olympiyskiy Stadium, they once again overcame the 13-time champions of Europe. Solomon was again on the scoresheet, while Dentinho also netted.
But things were much more successful for Los Blancos during the group stages of 2015/16. The home game ended in a 4-0 thrashing, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring a hat-trick.
As for the game in Ukraine, it was a pulsating fixture with a total of seven goals. Madrid were four goals ahead after 52 minutes, with a Ronaldo double along with strikes from Modric and Dani Carvajal.
But an explosive final 15 minutes from the hosts threatened an extraordinary comeback. Alex Teixeira scored two and Dentinho also found the net, but it was too little too late as the La Liga giants held out for a 4-3 triumph.
With this being their first venture into Champions League football, it’s no surprise that Sheriff Tiraspol have never faced Madrid or Inter.
The Moldovan side reached the qualifiers with a fantastic league season, accumulating 99 points and losing just once in 36 games while scoring 116 and conceding only seven goals – yep, SEVEN.
During qualifying, they saw off Teuta, Alashkert, Red Star Belgrade and Dinamo Zagreb to reach the group stage.