Real Madrid v Atalanta live stream, BT Sport, Tuesday 16 March, 8pm GMT
Real Madrid will be looking to reach the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in three years when they host Atalanta on Tuesday night.
Zinedine Zidane’s side won this competition in three consecutive years in 2015, 2016 and 2017, but they were eliminated in the last 16 in each of the last two campaigns. Ajax emerged victorious from their two-legged duel with Madrid two years ago, before Manchester City knocked them out before the mini-tournament in Lisbon in 2020.
Given that Madrid are a club defined by European competition, a third successive last-16 exit would leave Zidane sitting uncomfortably, despite all the success he has enjoyed as Madrid boss.
A 1-0 win in the first leg makes Madrid favourites to advance to the quarter-finals. The early red card shown to Remo Freuler was the decisive moment in Bergamo, and perhaps Madrid should have left with a wider margin of victory given they played the vast majority of the match with one man extra. Zidane’s side were crippled with injuries, though, and the away goal they scored in Italy could prove pivotal when all is said and done.
Yet Atalanta are still very much in this tie, and they will travel to the Spanish capital believing they can progress at Madrid’s expense. Gian Piero Gasperini has created an attack-minded, well-coached team that is capable of scoring goals at any stadium in Europe, and we can expect Atalanta to go on the front foot from the very first whistle.
Gasperini will have to make do without Hans Hateboer, while Freuler is suspended due to his aforementioned red card last time out. Duvan Zapata will return to the starting XI after being rested in Serie A on Friday.
Madrid are still without several key players due to injury, while Casemiro will play no part due to suspension. Dani Carvajal, Alvaro Odriozola, Marcelo and Mariano Diaz are all on the treatment table, but Sergio Ramos is expected to start after returning against Elche at the weekend. Eden Hazard is also available but may begin this match on the bench.
Kick-off is at 8pm GMT and the game is being shown on BT Sport 3 in the UK. See below for watching details where you are.
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