Real Madrid will host Atalanta in the second leg round-of-16 tie of Champions League 2020-21. The La Liga club have a slight advantage after 1-0 success in first-leg. `
Match Timings: Mar 17, 1:30 AM IST
The second leg last-16 games in Champions League resume with the clash between Real Madrid and Atalanta. Zinedine Zidane's side will play at home and have a strong chance to book their place into the quarterfinals. They overcome Serie A club in the first leg game with a 1-0 victory, courtesy of Mendy’s 86th-minute goal at Gewiss Stadium. The Spanish club didn’t have their key players including the top-scorer Benzema but still managed to edge past Atalanta. Los Blancos will avoid the same story this year. Zidane’s men lost to Ajax and Manchester City in round-of-16 in each of the last two campaigns. Real Madrid won five of their previous 11 games in the Champions League. They have a good record against an Italian club by winning 11 matches of their last 12 fixtures. They have also defeated Inter Milan in the group stage twice.
Madrid are coming off a 2-1 victory over Elche in La Liga and they moved to second, six points behind Atletico Madrid. They are just one point ahead of Barcelona with one extra game so eventually, they can slip to third this week if Barca wins. The 13-time European champions are favourites to crack the quarterfinal stage after two missed attempts. Madrid will miss the services of Dani Carvajal, Alvaro Odriozola, Marcelo, and Mariano Diaz for this fixture. Casemiro is suspended for this match so Federico Valverde will start alongside Luka Modric and Toni Kroos in midfield. Sergio Ramos recovered from the injury and will be available for this match.
Meanwhile. Atalanta have a huge pressure when they enter Madrid’s home ground. Remo Freuler's 17th-minute red card in the first leg allowed Zidane’s men to take advantage and they lost their home game 1-0. The Italian outfit are coming off a 3-1 win over Spezia to reach the fourth position in the Serie A 2020-21 points-table. Gian Piero Gasperini's side made into the quarterfinals of Champions League 2019-20 but this time, the target would be tough in an away leg game.
Atalanta have won their previous five Champions League away matches and lost seven of their last 30 European fixtures. They have met a Spanish club in a European competition once when they beat Valencia in the last-16 tie of last season. Atalanta will be without the services of Hans Hateboer due to injury and Freuler is suspended after picking the red card in the first leg. Mario Pasalic might replace Freuler who scored a brace against Spezia. Duvan Zapata will be back in the starting XI for this game.
Possible Lineups & Current Form
Courtois; Vazquez, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Kroos, Valverde, Modric; Asensio, Benzema, Vinicius
Current Form: W W W D D W
Gollini; Toloi, Romero, Djimsiti; Maehle, De Roon, Pasalic, Gosens; Pessina; Muriel, Zapata
Current Form: W L W W L W
17 goals in La Liga 2020-21
4 goals in La Liga 2020-21
17 goals in Serie A 2020-21
10 goals in Serie A 2020-21