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Atalanta—Real Madrid Champions League 2021 Match Preview, Injuries/Suspensions, Potential XIs, Prediction

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Real Madrid travel to Bergamo to take part in the knockout stage

FBL-EUR-C1-REAL MADRID-TRAINING Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images

Match Preview

Real Madrid are in Bergamo as they prepare to face Atalanta in the Champions League Round of 16.

These two clubs have never met each other before, so this is brand new territory for both sides. This match is happening a week after some of the Champions League matches have already kicked off.

Real Madrid is second and on a four-match win streak in La Liga despite a plethora of injuries to the squad. The club won Group B with three wins, a draw and a loss. Los Blancos have gone through many ups and downs since then.

Atalanta is fifth in Serie A and has won its last two matches. The club finished second in Group D with just two wins, two draws and a loss.

Injuries/Suspensions

Real Madrid is still dealing with injuries and will not have Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal, Eder Militão, Marcelo, Alvaro Odriozola, Fede Valverde, Rodrygo or Eden Hazard available. Karim Benzema will also miss after initial hopes of being available.

Atalanta will be without right-back Hans Hateboer.

There are no suspensions for either club in this match.

Potential XIs

Atalanta

Gollini; Toloi, Palomino, Djimsiti; Sutalo, de Roon, Freuler, Gosens; Pessina; Illcic, Muriel

Real Madrid

Courtois; Vazquez, Varane, Nacho, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Asensio, Vinicius, Mariano

Given the unchanged status of the squad, Real Madrid should stack up fairly identical to the weekend match against Valladolid.

There will likely be some youth players who will be making their Champions League debuts off the bench as well.

Prediction

Atalanta—Real Madrid 1-2

This will be an interesting match as both clubs will be feeling each other out having no prior history. Even with a thin squad, Real is the favorite for this first leg.

It’s important, given the injuries, that Real at least come away with a draw or win to make things a bit easier in the return leg. Los Blancos still have the quality to take care of business on the road.

Atalanta has not won at home in the Champions League this season, so the club is beatable on home turf.

This should be a fun one as we see two clubs meet each other for the first time in European competition.