Atalanta Vs. Real Madrid - Champions League: Prediction, Team News, Lineups, and Where to Watch
|Atalanta Vs. Real Madrid Preview. Photo: Youtube|
Real Madrid are the most successful team in the Champions League’s history, winning the competition a record 13 times, six more than any other club has managed. However, since winning their third in as many seasons in 2017/18, beating Liverpool in the final, Los Blancos have fallen at the second hurdle.
In each of the past two seasons, Real Madrid have been knocked out in the round-of-16, first falling to Ajax in 2018/19 and then Manchester City last year. This season they had to fight to even make it this far, only securing their spot with a win over Borussia Monchengladbach in their final group game, jumping from third to first.
From the Champions League’s best team to one of its newer arrivals, Atalanta are in Europe’s premier club competition for just the second season, having grown in Serie A over the past few years. Gian Piero Gasperini’s side made it to the quarter-finals last season before being knocked out by eventual runners-up PSG in the single-legged format.
The Italian side secured their spot in the last-16 this season by finishing second in their group behind Liverpool with three wins and two draws from six games, losing only to the Reds. In doing so, they became the first team since Sevilla in 2007/08 and 2009/10 to reach the knockout stages in each of their first two Champions League campaigns. But it’ll be a tall order for them to reach back-to-back quarter-finals, according to Squawka.
Date, kick-off time, and how to watch Atalanta Vs. Real Madrid
When does Atalanta vs Real Madrid kick-off? Wednesday 24th February 2021 – 20:00 (UK)
Where is Atalanta vs Real Madrid being played? Gewiss Stadium, Bergamo
Where can fan get tickets for Atalanta vs Real Madrid? A lot of Champions League games are being played without spectators but the situation is changing rapidly so it is worth checking official club websites for updates
What TV channel is Atalanta vs Real Madrid on in the UK? BT Sport have the rights to UEFA Champions League matches in the UK, so it is worth checking their schedule.
Atalanta Vs. Real Madrid Team News
Atalanta Team News
Heading into the game, the hosts, Atalanta have just one notable injury concern with Hans Hateboer set to miss out. Apart from that, manager Gian Piero Gasperini has a full squad at his disposal as he gears up to take on the reigning Spanish champions. Atalanta will set up in their preferred 3-4-1-2 formation in front of goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini.
Rafael Toloi, Cristian Romero and Berat Djmsiti ought to form the three-man defensive unit for La Dea with Joakim Maehle and Robin Gosens operating as the wing-backs. Given the way Atalanta set up, the two wing-backs will be the primary source of width going forward with Real Madrid needing to be particularly wary of the threat posed by Gosens when he pushes upfield in the left channel.
Marten de Roon and Remo Freuler will be tasked with holding the fort in the middle of the park and how they cope with Real Madrid counterparts Toni Kroos and Luka Modric can have a major say in the outcome of the encounter.
Josip Ilicic will be the dangerous man for the hosts with his sharp movement and ability to chip in with crucial goals. The veteran forward should operate in the hole behind the two strikers, Duvan Zapata and Luis Muriel, both of whom were on target in the win against Napoli last time out.
Real Madrid Team News
There is no respite whatsoever for Zinedine Zidane with respect to his squad’s injury issues as chief goalscorer Karim Benzema misses out again, along with key men Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal and Eden Hazard. In addition, Alvaro Odriozola, Rodrygo Goes, Federico Valverde, Marcelo and Eder Militao also miss out.
Given the circumstances, Zidane is likely to make no changes to the team that started at the weekend against Real Valladolid. Thibaut Courtois is the undisputed starter in goal while Raphael Varane and Nacho ought to form the center-back partnership.
At right-back, Lucas Vazquez gets the nod once again in Carvajal and Odriozola’s absence. He will have his hands full up against the dangerous Robin Gosens while Ferland Mendy slots in at left-back. Real have conceded just once in their last four games showing that the backline is doing its job.
But they will need additional protection from midfield enforcer Casemiro, who will also likely have to pay special attention to Ilicic throughout the game. Luka Modric, with his driving runs and Toni Kroos, with his sublime vision and distribution skills, will be the chief creative outlets for Real Madrid on Wednesday.
Upfront, there is little room for rotation due to injuries meaning the underwhelming trio of Marco Asensio, Vinicius Junior and Mariano Diaz start again hoping to fare better than they did against Valladolid. Isco could be an option from the bench along with youngsters Sergio Arribas and Hugo Duro, Thehardtackle reported.
Latest: Atalanta 4-2 Napoli, 21/02
Where they stand: 5th in Serie A
Latest: Valladolid 0-1 Real Madrid, 20/02
Where they stand: 2nd in Liga
ATALANTA Predicted line-up (3-4-2-1): Gollini; Toloi, Romero, Djimsiti; Maehle, De Roon, Freuler, Gosens; Pessina, Ilicic; Zapata
Unavailable: Hateboer (Injured)
REAL MADRID Predicted line-up (4-3-3): Courtois; Lucas Vazquez, Varane, Nacho, Mendy; Kroos, Casemiro, Modric; Asensio, Mariano Diaz, Vinicius Junior
Unavailable: Carvajal (Injured), Marcelo (Injured), Odriozola (Injured), Ramos (Injured), Militao (Injured) Valverde (Injured), Rodrygo (Injured), E. Hazard (Injured), Benzema (Injured)
SportsMole predicted that Atalanta BC 3-1 Real Madrid. A full-strength Real Madrid would be capable of making the first leg a truly tantalizing battle, but Los Blancos' decimated defense will no doubt struggle to contain Atalanta's rampant attacking contingent. The hosts' rearguard is not impenetrable by any means, but Gasperini's men will smell blood and we expect them to march to a historic triumph over their opponents before they travel to Madrid for the second leg next month.
On the other side, Squawka says that scoreline prediction is Atalanta 2-3 Real Madrid. Atalanta almost guarantees goals at both ends of the pitch, that’s what makes them so fun for the neutral to watch. Since the start of last season in the Champions League, Atalanta’s 15 matches have produced 53 goals, at an average of 3.53 per game. And Real Madrid have been equally as fun to watch this season, with 20 goals scored in their six Champions League matches so far.
One of the players you can expect to be ready to go on Wednesday and add to the excitement is Atalanta striker Luis Muriel. The Colombian has scored 16 goals in Serie A and the Champions League so far this season, despite playing just 965 minutes, averaging one every 60 minutes. Not to mention he’s massively outperforming his xG in the competition by +6.21.
This is the first competitive encounter between Atalanta and Real Madrid. In fact, Atalanta’s only previous meeting with a Spanish side in European competition was in last season’s Round of 16 when they faced Valencia – they won 8-4 on aggregate.
Real Madrid have won each of their last five UEFA Champions League away games against Italian opposition. They had only won three of their previous 16 trips to Italy.
Atalanta are the only remaining side in this round of 16 yet to win a single home game in the UEFA Champions League this season (D2 L1).
Zinedine Zidane has prevailed as Real Madrid manager in 12 of his 13 UEFA Champions League knockout ties (9 home/away ties and 3 finals).
Atalanta (quarter-finalists last year) are the first team since Sevilla (2007/08 & 2009/10) to reach the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League in each of their first two tournament appearances.
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