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Mar 16, 2021 at 8pm UK
Real MadridReal Madrid
AtalantaAtalanta BC
Benzema (34'), Ramos (60' pen.), Asensio (84')
Valverde (39'), Nacho (73'), Kroos (77')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Muriel (83')
Toloi (59')

Preview: Real Madrid vs. Atalanta BC - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Real Madrid vs. Atalanta BC - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Champions League clash between Real Madrid and Atalanta BC, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Real Madrid will be looking to book their spot in the quarter-finals of the Champions League when they welcome Atalanta BC for the second leg of their last-16 tie on Tuesday night.

Los Blancos hold a slight advantage heading into the clash in Madrid, having recorded a 1-0 victory when the two teams met in the first leg on February 24, with Ferland Mendy netting late on for the Spanish club.

Match preview

Madrid were missing a number of important players for the first leg against Atalanta, with Isco playing through the middle due to the absence of Karim Benzema, but an impressive performance from Zinedine Zidane's side ended in a 1-0 victory as Mendy struck in the 86th minute of the clash at Gewiss Stadium.

Los Blancos will now welcome Atalanta for the return fixture, with the Spanish side looking to avoid being eliminated in the last-16 stage of the Champions League for the third year in a row, having lost to Ajax and Manchester City in this round in each of the last two campaigns.

The Spanish champions have only actually won five of their last 11 games in this competition, losing seven of their last 18, but they have been victorious in 11 of their last 12 fixtures with Italian opposition, including two successes over Inter Milan in the group stages of this season's tournament.

Madrid will enter the contest off the back of a 2-1 win over Elche in La Liga on Saturday, which saw them move into second position in the table, six points behind leaders Atletico Madrid, but they could be nine points off the summit and back in third behind Barcelona by the time that they take to the field for this game.

The 13-time European champions are not considered to be one of the favourites for the competition this season but simply cannot be discounted due to their recent success.

Atalanta have it all to do in the Spanish capital, and they will be rueing Remo Freuler's 17th-minute red card in the first leg, which handed Madrid a huge advantage and ultimately ended in the home side losing.

The Italian side will have had slightly longer to prepare for this game as they were last in action on Friday, recording a 3-1 win over Spezia to move into fourth position in the Serie A table.

Atalanta reached the quarter-finals of last season's Champions League in their first ever appearance in the competition, ultimately losing 2-1 to eventual finalists Paris Saint-Germain; La Dea actually led the last-eight tie until the very final moments, when the French champions found two late goals.

Gian Piero Gasperini's side have impressively won their last five Champions League away matches, while they have been beaten in just seven of their last 30 European fixtures, recording 14 wins in the process.

Atalanta will be visiting Madrid for the first time, and they have only ever taken on Spanish opposition on one previous occasion, beating Valencia in the last-16 stage of last season's competition.

Real Madrid Champions League form:
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

Real Madrid form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W

Atalanta BC Champions League form:
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L

Atalanta BC form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

Team News

Madrid will again be without the services of Dani Carvajal through injury, while Alvaro Odriozola and Mariano Diaz are also not available for selection.

The home side have included Marcelo in the squad, but Eden Hazard will not be involved, with the Belgium international facing another spell on the sidelines due to a fresh muscular issue.

Casemiro, meanwhile, is suspended due to the booking that he picked up in the first leg, meaning that Federico Valverde could operate alongside Luka Modric and Toni Kroos as part of a midfield three.

Sergio Ramos made his return from injury against Elche and should feature once again, but Rodrygo Goes is expected to be among the substitutes with Marco Asensio and Vinicius Junior either side of Benzema.

Atalanta, meanwhile, will be without the services of Hans Hateboer due to a fractured foot, while Freuler is suspended due to the red card that he picked up in the first leg.

Duvan Zapata started on the bench against Spezia in the league on Friday but will be back in the side for this game, while Cristian Romero should return in the middle of the defence.

Freuler's spot from the first leg is expected to be taken by Mario Pasalic, who scored twice against Spezia, while Zapata will be joined in the final third of the field by the team's leading scorer this season Luis Muriel.

Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Vazquez, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Kroos, Valverde, Modric; Asensio, Benzema, Vinicius

Atalanta BC possible starting lineup:
Gollini; Toloi, Romero, Djimsiti; Maehle, De Roon, Pasalic, Gosens; Pessina; Muriel, Zapata

We say: Real Madrid 2-1 Atalanta BC

Atalanta are more than capable of making Tuesday's contest extremely uncomfortable for Madrid, but it is difficult to look past the home side here. Zidane's team have recovered a number of key players at a vital stage of the season, and we expect Los Blancos to edge their way into the quarter-finals.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data

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