Thursday, August 5, 2021

Prediction: Real Madrid vs Atalanta

Verdict: Under 3.5 goals

Best Odds: 1/2

Bookmaker: Unibet

Looking to finish off the job on Tuesday night and book their spot in the quarter-finals of this year’s Champions League, Real Madrid will welcome Atalanta to the Estadio Alfredo Di Stéfano.

Real Madrid

Starting with the hosts, while they might have not been at their best once again over the weekend, Real Madrid managed to pick up a much-needed and dramatic victory on home soil. Eventually snatching a last-gasp winner after falling 1-0 behind against Elche at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stéfano, Los Blancos still find themselves with an outside chance to defending their La Liga crown this season. Once again managing to snatch a late point away at league leaders and bitter rivals Atletico Madrid earlier in the month, The Whites seem to be finding a way to pick up maximum points. Now unbeaten in their last eight matchups across all formats, a run that saw them pick up a first-leg 1-0 win out in Italy on February 24th, it could be worth keeping an eye out for leading marksman Karim Benzema in midweek. Bagging a brace against Elche last weekend, the French striker has found the net in his last four contests on the spin, bagging five goals.

Team News

Real Madrid will once again be without right-back Dani Carvajal on Tuesday night. Los Blancos also look set to have the quartet of Alvaro Odriozola, Marcelo, Eden Hazard and Mariano Diaz.

In another hit, key midfielder Casemiro is suspended due to the booking that he picked up in the first-leg.

Atalanta

As for the visitors, after getting hit with that late 1-0 loss against Real Madrid in the first-leg last month, Atalanta know they have an uphill battle in the Spanish capital. Managing to immediately bounce back from that 1-0 loss against Serie A leaders Inter Milan on March 8th, La Dea secured a thumping victory against Spezia over the weekend. Enjoying a real second-half romp and eventually picking up a 3-1 win, Head Coach Gian Piero Gasperini still finds his side in pole position to secure another top-four finish this season. With leading marksman Luis Muriel bagging his 19th goal of the 2020/21 campaign against Spezia last time out, the Italian outsiders might also be boosted by what is a shocking European record on foreign soil. Along with managing to pick up a 2-0 win away at defending Premier League champions Liverpool in this year’s tournament, Atalanta have won each of their last six Champions League contests outside of Bergamo.

Team News

Aside from defender Remo Freuler who was sent-off in the first-leg, Atalanta have a full squad to choose from out in Madrid.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When the two sides faced off in the first-leg last month, Real Madrid picked up a late 1-0 victory.
    • Los Blancos are also unbeaten in each of their last eight straight matchups across all formats, recording six wins and two draws.
    • Atalanta have won each of their last six Champions League matchups on foreign soil, including wins over Liverpool and Ajax.
    • However, each of La Dea’s last four away fixtures across all formats have finished with under 2.5 goals.
    • Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has found the net in his last four contests on the spin, bagging five goals.

    Conclusion

    While on paper it might seem like a contest that could see a string of chances, don’t be surprised to see a cagey affair in the Spanish capital. Although Real Madrid might have managed to extend on their unbeaten run with victory over Eiche last time out, the defending La Liga champions have struggled to find their best form of late. With the first-leg showdown last month producing a late 1-0 win for Madrid out in Bergamo, Tuesday’s guests also have a recent reputation for their low-scoring affairs on the road. Holding a very impressive Champions League record on foreign soil, it should be noted that each of Atalanta’s last four away fixtures have finished with under 2.5 goals.

    Verdict: Under 3.5 goals

    Best Odds: 1/2

    Bookmaker: Unibet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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