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Real Madrid v Atalanta – Preview, Predictions and Best Bets

Real Madrid v Atalanta – Preview, Predictions & Best Bets. Atalanta will have hope of winning having won 2-0 at Anfield and 1-0 away at Ajax.

Real Madrid host Atalanta at Estadio Alfredo Di Stéfano on Tuesday night in the round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League. Zinedine Zidane’s side hold a 1-0 advantage from the first leg after a late Ferland Mendy goal having faced ten men for 73 minutes. Atalanta will have hope of turning the tie around having won 2-0 at Anfield this season against Liverpool and 1-0 away at Ajax.

Real Madrid Form

Los Blancos are on a strong run of long-term form in La Liga with 12 wins and four draws in their last 17 matches. Since beating Atalanta in Bergamo three weeks ago, Real have drawn 1-1 at home with Real Sociedad after an 89th minute goal, drawn 1-1 at Atletico Madrid after scoring in the 88th minute and beaten Elche 2-1 at home after Karim Benzema netted in injury time.

Having kept four clean sheets in a row up until the Atalanta win, they have since conceded first in their last three matches.

Real Madrid Team News

Madrid are without Casemiro for this match due to suspension. He is a key player with his ability to break up play but also arrive late in the box, a new role for him this season. Federico Valverde will likely take his place.
Zidane played a surprise 3-5-2 shape against Elche and had Sergio Ramos back from injury in defence and Eden Hazard available on the flank. Madrid also managed to give a full rest to Luka Modric and only 30 minutes of pitch time to Toni Kroos so both will be fresh.

Lucas Vazquez is likely to cover for the still-injured Dani Carvajal at right back whilst Karim Benzema has scored three goals in two matches since returning from injury. He missed the first leg and will be a major boost in this game.

Real Madrid Motivation

Madrid have a lead and have largely relied on a solid defence in recent weeks for this good form. Having Benzema and Hazard back from the first leg means that have greater options to attack but they probably won’t take many risks early on.

Zidane is expected to revert to a back four but he could quite easily stick with a 3-5-2 shape to match up to Atalanta and to find space to start Nacho after his excellent form even with both Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane available.

Atalanta Form

Atalanta came into the first leg on a run of just one defeat in 20 matches in all competitions but that did include seven draws. After losing at home to Real Madrid, they have won three and lost one Serie A match, a 1-0 defeat away to table topping Inter Milan.

The side have only kept two clean sheets in their last nine matches although their last five matches have only seen four goals conceded. Their recent loss away to Inter ended a 13-match unbeaten run on their travels, where they tend to revel in the extra space afforded to them.

Atalanta Team News

Gian Piero Gasperini is expected to stick with his 3-4-1-2 system. Mario Pasalic did not start the first leg but after his brace this weekend against Spezia, he will likely be in the number ten role for this match. Remo Freuler was red carded in the first leg and will miss this match in central midfield.

Atalanta remain with first choice right wingback Hans Hateboer so Joakim Maehle could get the nod. Josip Ilicic will be hoping to start this match in preference to Duvan Zapata after having to make do with a substitute role in the game in Bergamo.

Atalanta Motivation

Atalanta will be highly motivated and have no choice but to attack Real Madrid. They have occasionally been less frantic and more considered tactically in matches this season, in beating Liverpool and Ajax away for example.

It’s not clear which approach they will take but they have nothing to lose and good substitute options so will hope to score early.

Key Stats

Atalanta have scored 3 or more goals in 7 of their last 13 matches

Atalanta have seen over 2.5 goals in 7 of their last 11 CL matches

Atalanta have lost 1 of their last 14 away matches in all competitions

Madrid have won 6 of their last 8 matches

Real Madrid have won 2 of their last 5 home CL matches, conceding 9 goals

Real have won 3 of their last 4 home CL matches against Italian sides, scoring 3 goals in each win


This match is difficult to call. Madrid should have enough to progress but Atalanta are a very good side and will be very dangerous if they score first and draw Zidane’s side out. A 2-1 away win is not impossible but this could also be a comfortable 2-1 or 2-0 home win with no frills. The best bet is probably on a decent number of goals as Atalanta get more desperate.

Best Bet: Both teams to score at 1.64

Alternative Bet: Real Madrid win at 2.10

Goalscorer Tip: Karim Benzema anytime goalscorer at 2.10

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