Real Madrid vs AtalantaUEFA Champions League, KO: 20:00 Mar 16, 2021, Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano
NOBODY knows how to win the Champions League better than Zinedine Zidane and his Real Madrid side have one foot in the quarter-finals this season after beating Atalanta on the road.
I fancied the swashbuckling Italian side to beat Real in that first leg due to the huge number of injuries Zidane had suffered to some of his top players.
But an early red card for Swiss star Remo Freuler totally changed the complexion of the game and the Spanish giants claimed a 1-0 thanks to a long-range strike from Ferland Mendy (below).
Real have coped well with their injury crisis, grinding out results to go eight games unbeaten. Six of those games have ended in wins and they grabbed a last-minute winner at the weekend to beat Elche 2-1 and scupper my bet of under 2.5 goals.
But Atlanta have the firepower to overturn that narrow first-leg deficit if Zidane's side have an off night so this last-16 tie is far from over.
The side from Bergamo have won six of their last eight games, with the only defeats coming to Real and Serie A leaders Inter Milan, so they head into this second leg in good form.
How the bookies view it
Real Madrid are just above evens with most firms to win on the night and the 107/100 on offer at TonyBet looks decent with the likes of Benzema and Ramos back in the fold. Atalanta's best price is 13/5 with SBK while the stalemate pays 37/13 at Mansionbet.
Karim Benzema missed the first leg for Real Madrid but he's back from injury for the return and netted both goals in the weekend win over Elche. Sergio Ramos also came back in that clash but Eden Hazard could only be fit for a place on the bench here.
Dani Carvajal is still crocked, Casemiro (below) misses out through suspension and Alvaro Odriozola, Marcelo and Mariano Diaz are doubtful.
Frueler misses out with a ban for Atalanta after his red card in the first leg while full-back Hans Hateboer is injured.
Players to watch
It's hard to look past Benzema for a Real Madrid goal and the Frenchman has five goals from his last four games. His tally stands at 20 for the season and Benzema is a decent 11/8 with Unibet for anytime scorer which is superb value for accas.
Duvan Zapata's power could cause problems for Zidane's defence and the Colombian is 2/1 for a goal at TonyBet.
Anything else catch the eye?
Both teams to score would have been a popular bet in the first leg but it was scuppered by that early red card for Atalanta. The Italians have to go for it as they bid to overturn that 1-0 deficit so it should be an open game.
BBTS is a best 9/13 for this one with SBK which is probably only good for accumulators while over 2.5 goals is also odds-on at 4/5 with the same firm. Doubling those bets up pays just over 2/1.
With Atalanta pushing forward, Real Madrid could catch them on the break so I fancy over 1.5 goals for the Spanish giants at 19/20 with TonyBet.
There was a one-goal winning margin in the first leg and a repeat here pays a decent 135/100 at TonyBet.
For a bonkers bet, Skybet are offering 50/1 on Mendy repeating his heroics from the first leg by scoring from outside the area again.
This UEFA Champions League match between Real Madrid and Atalanta will be played on Mar 16, 2021 and kick off at 20:00. Check below for our tipsters best Real Madrid vs Atalanta prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.
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