Los Blancos prepare to return to Europe – but the timing couldn’t have been worse as they are missing a number of their key players.
Wednesday night brings back Champions League action with two exciting Round of 32 fixtures: Atalanta vs Real Madrid & Borussia Monchengladbach vs Manchester City.
Here we cover the second fixture which is set to be played at the Gewiss Stadium in Bergamo and scheduled to start at 21:00 CET.
Atalanta finished runners-up in Group D behind Liverpool to advance past the group stages while Real Madrid managed to, rather unconvincingly, top their group to make it to the last-16.
Atalanta vs Real Madrid Form:
La Dea have an empty European trophy cabinet, but that is not at all to say they can be taken lightly.
One of the best free-flowing attacking teams in all of Europe, the Italians have upset the mighty Liverpool this term and are well capable of doing the same to their upcoming opponents.
They secured a thrilling 4-2 win over Napoli on the weekend to jump to fifth in the Serie A standings.
A team built to attack, Gian Piero Gasperini’s side have scored 53 league goals – a tally only bettered by Inter Milan, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, and Lyon in Europe’s top-five leagues.
Los Blancos have been shaky domestically as well as in Europe this season. They lost to Shakhtar Donetsk in the opening Champions League match and were able to win only half of their six group stage fixtures. In La Liga, they trail three points behind rivals and leaders Atletico Madrid, who have a game in hand.
But the Spanish title-holders have looked convincing lately, having won their last four matches on the bounce and keeping a clean sheet in each of their last three games.
And while their days of supreme authority in Europe’s premier club competition is a thing of the past, the 13-time champions are still intimidating for anyone standing against them.
That said, they are certainly not clear favorites, especially considering they will be without, among others, their chief goalscorer and their leaders at the back.
Atalanta vs Real Madrid Head-to-head:
Wednesday night will mark the first time the two teams face each other in a competitive clash.
Atalanta vs Real Madrid Team News:
Zinedine Zindane has only 11 fit senior players. Sergio Ramos, Karim Benzema, Eden Hazard, Rodrygo, Alvaro Odriozola, Marcelo, Eder Militao, Daniel Carvajal, and Federico Valverde are all on the treatment table.
Elsewhere, right-wing back Hans Hateboer is the only absentee for the home side.