Real Madrid are back in European action as they take on Atalanta in the Champions League round of 16 at the Alfredo di Stefano Stadium.
Real Madrid take on Atalanta in the Champions League round of 16 on Tuesday evening. The second take sees the 13-time European champions welcome the Italian outfit at the Alfredo di Stefano three weeks after picking up a 1-0 success in Bergamo in their first meeting ever.
Zinedine Zidane has a host of players fit for the game as compared to his previous European outing, but Alvaro Odriozola, Dani Carvajal and Mariano Diaz are all unfit. Eden Hazard, meanwhile, has picked up another injury that is likely to rule him out for over a month.
Thibaut Courtois is set to keep his place in goal and look to continue his good form. The Belgian will be pivotal in between the sticks as Los Blancos look to keep out an away goal, in which case they would be assured passage into the quarterfinal of the competition.
Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane will hold the fort in the heart of defence. The captain’s return is positive news for Zizou and statistically speaking, the Whites are unbeaten in a European knockout match when he has been on the field for 90 minutes in six years.
Ferland Mendy, the scorer of the only goal from the previous leg will be the left-back ahead of Marcelo. The Frenchman has been in good form, as has Nacho, who will once again switch positions and play as the right-back. Their contributions will be vital on both fronts.
Casemiro is suspended for this meeting, which means Federico Valverde will slot in as the defensive midfielder. Luka Modric and Toni Kroos were largely rested at the weekend but will come back into the eleven, hoping to continue their impeccable runs of form.
An injury to Hazard is likely to see Vinicius Junior as the left winger. The Brazilian has not been in the best of form, but against defensive sides like Atalanta, his dribbling and pace will be handy assets. Rodrygo will get the nod on the right flank, thanks to his great displays.
Karim Benzema has scored in each of the last four matches he has played and was the match-winner against Elche on Saturday. Real Madrid will see their top marksman lead the line as they look to book a last-8 berth for the first time in three years.