PREVIEW: Real Madrid vs Atalanta, Los Blancos will look to kill the tie in the 2nd leg
Real Madrid vs Atalanta
Real Madrid go into the second leg against Atalanta with an away goal advantage. Los Blancos host the Bergamo side at the Estadio Alfredo Di Steffano in the second leg where they will look to convincingly settle the tie.
LA partita! 💪🌟 THE match!
🇪🇺 @ChampionsLeague – RO16 – 2nd leg
🏟️ Estadio Alfredo di Stéfano – Madrid
⌚️ 16.03.2021 – 21.00 CET
📲 #RealMadridAtalanta#GoAtalantaGo ⚫️🔵 #ForzaAtalanta pic.twitter.com/VclTcxiZna
— Atalanta B.C. (@Atalanta_BC) March 15, 2021
The white half of Madrid sits 2nd in La Liga right now.Their football has been uninspiring in the league. The importance of the Champions League would not be lost on Zidane. He would be hoping his Real Madrid side does not get knocked out by another underdog like Atalanta.
Anything is possible in the #UCL…
Favourite performance? 🤔
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) March 13, 2021
Atalanta on the other hand are sitting at the edge of the European spots in Serie A at 4th. Atalanta are the 2nd highest scorers in the Italian top flight with 63 goals, but Los Merngues martialed the Bergamo outfit really well in the first leg, by restricting their prolific attack.
Real Madrid have been defensively astute this season but the attack has been far from lethal. Zidane’s men boast the 3rd best defensive record in La Liga right now. In the first leg Real Madrid’s defence made the difference against Atalanta as they did not allow any clear cut opportunities to the Bergamo side.
Real Madrid’s form has been scrappy in the League recently. They have not lost a single game in the last five fixtures in La Liga but have managed 2 boring draws and their 3 victories have also not been convincing.Their attacking play has lacked a cutting edge, a problem that has persisted since Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure. His replacement Eden Hazard is having yet another disappointing campaign for Los Blancos and he is injured again and won’t be available for this game. He’d be hoping to redeem himself a little. But we don’t see him getting a lot of minutes nor do we expect Real Madrid to go really really deep in the Champions League.
They still do have hope in the League. Thus another disappointing European campaign won’t sit well with a lot of faithfuls. Zidane would be wary of Atalanta and they’ll look to restrict La Dea. A goal would be enough according to Real Madrid against Atalanta.
Atalanta is one of the form teams in Serie A. La Dea have only lost to table topping Inter Milan in the last 5 games in the league. The other 4 games have been convincing victories. Gasperini would be hoping his prolific attack that failed to create at their normal rate in the first leg shows up at the Estadio Di Steffano. After losing Alejandero Gomez in the winter window the Bergamo side’s attack did take a slight hit as a result but have recovered recently. Luis Muriel has seemingly filled the void left by Gomez’s departure.
Last year’s surprise package of the Champions League Atalanta would look to attack this limited Real Madrid side away from home. Even though Remo Frueler would not be available for this game due to a red card in the first leg he won’t be dearly missed. As Atalanta are so system reliant and even though Freuler will be missing they have enough strength in depth with Pessina and Pasalic.
Gasperini would be looking at his team and hoping they would defeat the kings of Europe. As another good deep run in the Champions League will validate his project at the Bergamo side even further. Real Madrid should be ready for a barrage against Atalanta and La Dea could take the game away from Los Blancos.
Despite having one of the deepest pockets in world football Real Madrid’s squad planning has been poor over the last two seasons. As a result they have suffered because of injuries and a lack of quality in depth has been one of the main reasons for their inconsistent performances.
They only have Ferland Mendy as a recognized full-back fit for this match as Marcelo, Carvajal and Odriozola are all out with injuries for Real Madrid against Atalanta’s second leg.Eden Hazard and Mariano Diaz are two attackers that are out injured for this game.
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) March 14, 2021
Real Madrid played with a 3 at the back in their previous match against Elche in the League. Zidane will most likely deploy the same formation to cover for the lack of full-backs. Los Blancos will look to play in 3-5-2. Their most probable lineup for this game would consist of- Courtois;Ramos,Nacho, Varane; Vaszquez,Valverde,Modric,Casemiro,Mendy;Vinicius and Benzema.
Atalanta go into this fixture against Real Madrid with only a few players missing. Bosko Sutalo and Hans Hateboer are both out injured, also Freuler will not be available for selection due to the red card in the first leg.
Gasperini would look to deploy his most trusted 3-4-1-2 in this game. Atalanta’s most probable line up for this game against Real Madrid would consist of- Golini;Romero,Toloi,Djimsiti; Mahle,De Roon, Pasalic, Goosens,Malinovsky;Muriel and Zapata.
🚩 Sarà l'olandese Danny Makkelie l'arbitro di #RealMadridAtalanta
🇳🇱 Danny Makkelie to referee Tuesday's match
— Atalanta B.C. (@Atalanta_BC) March 14, 2021
Real Madrid would look to take advantage of the inexperience of this Atalanta side in Europe and would be hoping that La Dea would crumble after an early goal for the home side.
Karim Benzema has again been the saviour for Real Madrid this season. He was sorely missed by Zidane in the first leg. He’d be hoping his compatriot’s scintillating form is enough to drag the Los Blancos through. He has 25 goal involvements in all competitions in just 30 appearances.
✍️ Let's recap, #RMFans:
👇 Highlights, match report and gallery below#RealMadridElche
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) March 13, 2021
Atalanta have a striker of their own in scintillating form in Luis Muriel. The Colombian will hold the key against Real Madrid for Atalanta. He has a total of 28 goal involvements in 35 games in all competitions.
🎙️ @Luisfmuriel09: "Un gol bello e importante"
🤩 "A beautiful and important goal"
— Atalanta B.C. (@Atalanta_BC) March 12, 2021
The FootTheBall team predict a game where the home side will dominate the ball in the opening minutes of the game and an early solitary goal for Real Madrid will most likely be enough to knock Atalanta out.
Atalanta can dominate this lackluster Real Madrid side. We see the Bergamo side drawing the game at the Estadio Di Steffano. We think this match will end as a 1-1 draw, where Real Madrid will scrape past Atalanta on away goals.