Atalanta vs Real Madrid Champions League First-Leg Preview, Prediction, H2H, Team News
Atalanta vs Real Madrid Champions League Preview:
The Round of 16 of the Champions League has another match on the cards as last season's underdogs Atalanta lock horns with the kings of Europe, Real Madrid at the Gewiss Stadium on Wednesday night.
Gian Piero Gasperini's side will try to come out in the first leg as they have done on past occasions, trying to strike the injury-ridden Los Blancos as early as possible.
Both the sides had varied fortunes in the group stages of this season's Champions League as Atalanta finished second in their group, while Real Madrid took the top spot despite being on the brink of an early eviction.
The Italian outfit played some of the most scintillating football last season, but they fell short to last season's finalists PSG, despite leading the game for more than 90% of the time, conceding two late goals.
Atalanta have earned their qualification after some robust competition in their group, beating the likes of Liverpool and 2018-19 semi-finalists Ajax.
On the contrary, Real Madrid would try to see out the first leg of the Round of 16 in the easiest ways to make sure that they settle things well when they host the Italian outfit in Spain.
La Dea were outstanding in their latest win against Napoli but they are far from both the Milan sides, meaning they are yet to become title-contenders.
Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid are just three points adrift of their city rivals. However, Simeone's side do have a game in hand.
The 13-time European champions are perhaps in their most vulnerable phases, with no Ronaldo, Eden Hazard far from his best and it's the team's long-serving midfield that has kept the team together.
Atalanta vs Real Madrid Head-to-Head Record:
The two sides, Atalanta and Real Madrid have never played each other in the Champions League and it would interesting to see how the battle between the two kicks off.
Atalanta are known for their offensive approach irrespective of who they face and having fired three goals at least in nine of their last 11 outings that the Los Blancos defense will be concerned about avoiding exasperating aftermath.
Since their triumph in 2017-18, Zidane and co have fallen down at this stage against Ajax and Manchester City respectively, and this time they would hope that their recent past doesn't come to sight again.
Atalanta have lost just one of their last six games in all competitions, and Real Madrid have only lost too but won the rest compared to La Dea's two draws.
However, Real Madrid have a worse Champions League run at the moment with an added defeat when compared to their Champions League round of 16 first leg opponents, Atalanta.
Atalanta vs Real Madrid Champions League: Team News
For Atalanta, only Hans Hataboer is out due to injury. Cristian Romero and Berat Djimsiti are just a booking away from a game's suspension and thus, we may see Gasperini saving the duo for the second leg.
Real Madrid's top scorer and the Champions League's top fifth scorer Karim Benzema is ruled out, with a long list of stars undergoing treatment.
Eden Hazard, Rodrygo, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Eder Militao, Dani Carvajal, and Federico Valverde are all sidelined. Real's engine and last week's hero Casemiro is fit to feature but a booking will see him out for the second leg.
Atalanta vs Real Madrid Champions League Prediction:
Atalanta vs Real Madrid in the round of 16 Champions League first leg is anticipated to be one of most exciting draws of the round. Both the teams will have to be tactically sound and make the most of the smallest errors from their opponent.
Any missed chance can cot them towards the end and we hope that we see raining goals in the fixture.
Sportco predicts Atalanta to win the first leg of their Champions League tie against Real Madrid.