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Atalanta v Real Madrid – Preview, Predictions and Best Bets

Atalanta v Real Madrid – Preview, Predictions and Best Bets. A fascinating tie awaits as the exciting Atalanta host European giants Madrid.

Atalanta host Real Madrid at the Gewiss Stadium in Bergamo on Wednesday evening. The hosts qualified from a tough group including Liverpool and Ajax and got to last season’s quarter final before a last-gasp defeat to PSG after conceding in the 90th and 93rd minutes. Madrid recovered from two group stage defeats to progress and will want to go further than last season’s round of 16 elimination to Man City.

Atalanta Form

Since a defeat at home to Hellas Verona in November, Atalanta have lost just one of their last 20 matches in all competitions with 12 wins and seven draws. A recent victory over Napoli in the Coppa italia secured them a place in the final against Juventus in May.

A 4-2 win against Napoli on Sunday night in Serie A took the side into the top four in the league. They continue to be a swashbuckling team and have scored three or more goals in five of their last eight matches and only Inter Milan have scored more league goals.

They have had a few recent slip ups at home though, drawing 0-0 with Genoa, losing 3-1 to Lazio and drawing 3-3 at home to Torino in their last six matches in Bergamo.

Atalanta Team News

Atalanta have plenty of quality and depth in attack. In recent matches, neither Mario Pasalic (12 goals last season) or Josip Ilicic (21 scored in the last campaign) have been guaranteed starters. Pasalic is just only recently back from a fairly long injury and may again have to make do with a bench role in this one.

Luis Muriel is averaging a goal every 72 minutes this season and will lead the line alongside his Colombian countryman Duvan Zapata. The one injury loss for Gian Piero Gasperini is that of Hans Hateboer at right wingback due to a broken metatarsal. In January, captain Papu Gomez was sold to Sevilla after failing out with the coach but his loss has not been felt too heavily.

Atalanta Motivation

La Dea will play an attacking and aggressive 3-5-2 formation with 5-6 players storming the box on attacks. They aren’t quite as completely crazy as last season and they are able to play a more clever, slightly more circumspect game on occasion (such as beating Liverpool at Anfield and winning in Amsterdam against Ajax, keeping clean sheets in both) but they still won’t show Real Madrid much fear.

Atalanta will know that the home leg is crucial and anything less than a victory would be a huge blow to their hopes of progressing. They will also see a Real Madrid defence without Sergio Ramos and Dani Carvajal as being there for the taking.

Real Madrid Form

In La Liga, Real Madrid have been in good form for a long time with 11 wins and two draws in their last 14 matches. After a surprise 2-1 home loss to Levante in late January, they have responded with four consecutive victories with the latter three featuring clean sheets. On Saturday, they won 1-0 away at Real Valladolid as Casemiro scored the winner.

If we add in cup competitions, Madrid lost the Spanish Super Cup final to Athletic Bilbao and were then knocked out of the Coppa Del Rey to Alcoyano just before their La Liga loss to Levante. That means they have lost three of their last eight in all competitions.

Real Madrid Team News

Los Blancos are suffering yet another injury crisis, prompting Zinedine Zidane to demand an internal investigation. Dani Carvajal and Sergio Ramos both miss this match with injuries in the back four and wingers Rodrygo and Eden Hazard are both out too.

On Friday before facing Valladolid, Karim Benzema went down with a knock and couldn’t play and he is touch-and-go for this match. If he can’t start, then Mariano Diaz may lead the line. Nacho is expected to start in central defence with Lucas Vazquez filling in at right back.

Real Madrid Motivation

Considering their injuries in attacking areas and in defence, Madrid would almost certainly look at a draw as being like a win. They would probably take any draw, even without an away goal and back themselves to knock Atalanta out in the home leg. The one spanner in the works is that it isn’t clear yet whether the return leg will definitely be at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano.

Zidane is probably going to set his side up to try to control the game in midfield with Luka Modric and Toni Kroos looking to keep the ball away from Atalanta. There is no doubt that this match is top priority for Los Blancos over La Liga right now and all energy can be focused on it.

Key Stats

Atalanta have scored 3 or more goals in 5 of their last 8 matches

Atalanta have seen over 2.5 goals in 7 of their last 10 CL matches

Atalanta’s last 11 home games has seen 46 goals scored (4.18 goals per game)

Luis Muriel has 16 goals in 1162 minutes this season (goal every 72 mins)

Madrid have won 4 matches in a row

Real Madrid have lost 3 of their last 8 matches

Real have lost 2 of their last 4 away CL matches

Los Blancos have seen over 2.5 goals in 3 of their last 5 away CL matches


Real Madrid’s class in undeniable and they are grinding out victories of late but Atalanta will see them as being there for the taking in this one. Real are without some of their top players and without many game changers on the bench and Atalanta could look to blow them away in the second half. A home win looks good value and goals are expected in this match.

Best Bet: Atalanta to win and BTTS at 3.60

Alternative Bet: Atalanta win and over 3.5 goals at 5.25

Alternative Bet: Both teams to score in both halves at 7.25

Goalscorer Tip: Luis Muriel (no odds yet)

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