Real Madrid do not have the right to make mistakes in the knockout stages of the Champions League, at home against Italians Atalanta Bergamo. Zinedine Zidane’s players took a definite advantage in the first leg with a short but important victory, and will still count on their providential man, Karim Benzema, to seek qualification in the quarter-finals of the C1. Eliminated from the Copa del Rey and third in La Liga six points behind the leader, rival Atletico the Madrid, Real must succeed at the end of its season and that means a new European epic.
Hazard absent, Ramos back
Karim Benzema will be on the attack this Tuesday evening (9 p.m.) for Real Madrid against Atalanta Bergamo. In the first leg, the Madrilenians had benefited from favorable circumstances with a very severe red card which had left the Italians to ten a good part of the meeting. Zinedine Zidane‘s men only got away with a superb and unexpected goal from Ferland Mendy in the dying minutes of the game. But Real will not be able to count on Eden Hazard, yet announced on the return. The Belgian, absent from training on Monday, suffers from a muscle injury and could undergo surgery on his left ankle to fix a problem with the psoas. Its end of the season is therefore put in parentheses, and Euro 2021 begins to be written in dotted lines.
Benzema decisive for Real Madrid
But the French striker will be there to defend the colors of Madrid, and he is decisive this season in more than one way. “The Madrid public saw it in C1 where he scored once against Inter Milan (3-2, November 3) and two against Mönchenglabach (2-0, December 9), two encounters that allowed Real to qualify for the round of 16 and even snatch first place in a hotly contested group. His statistical influence rises to 42% (43% in La Liga) if we add his five assists, “writes L’Equipe in today’s edition. Zidane and Real should also be able to count on the return of Sergio Ramos in central defense, for a single goal, the qualification for the quarterfinals of the Champions League.
The probable composition of Real Madrid: Courtois – Vazquez, Varane, Ramos, Mendy – Modric, Valverde, Kroos – Asensio, Benzema, Vinicius.
The probable composition of Atalanta Bergamo: Sportiello – Toloi, Romero, Djimsiti – Maehle, De Roon, Pessina, Gosens – Pasalic – Zapata, Muriel.