Atalanta host Real Madrid in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie at the Gewiss Stadium in Bergamo.
Gian Piero Gasperini’s side will have mixed memories of facing Spanish opposition at this stage of the competition.
Last season, they made history by beating Valencia in the round of 16 to reach their first-ever Champions League quarterfinal.
This year, the Italian side once again got past the group stages, finishing second in Group D behind Liverpool. On the final day of group stage action, they managed to beat Ajax to pip the Dutch side and move into the knockout rounds.
Atalanta are in good form coming into this game, having won each of their last three games. On Sunday, they beat Napoli 4-2 as they build up a head of steam going into the business end of the season.
Real are going through a bit of an injury crisis at the moment, but have still kept themselves afloat in the La Liga title race.
Even though they have played a game more than their city rivals, Real currently find themselves just three points behind Atletico Madrid at the moment.
Atalanta vs Real Madrid Predictions:
- Atalanta have seen BTTS in their last 5 home matches (all competitions).
- Atalanta are undefeated in 19 of their last 20 matches (all competitions).
- Atalanta have drawn 2 of their last 3 home matches (UEFA Champions League).
- Atalanta have conceded 11 goals in their last 5 home matches (all competitions).
- Real Madrid are undefeated in 13 of their last 14 matches (La Liga).
- Real Madrid have won their last 4 matches (La Liga).
- Real Madrid lost both home and away to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League group stages.
- Real Madrid have won each of their last five Champions League away games against Italian opposition (12 goals for, 1 against) – they’d only won three of their previous 16 trips to Italy.
This will be the first match between Atalanta and Real Madrid. Atalanta’s only previous meeting with a Spanish side in European competition was in last season’s round of 16 when they faced Valencia – they won 8-4 on aggregate.
Atalanta are the first team since Sevilla (2007-08 & 2009-10) to reach the knockout stages of the Champions League in each of their first two appearances.
Real Madrid could face a tough time in this game against Atalanta. This is largely thanks to the ridiculous number of injuries that they are grappling with at the moment.
Atalanta are unbeaten in five competitive games now and have won their last three. They have lost only one of their last 20 games in all competitions and beat Liverpool at Anfield in the group stages, so they are not a team to be underestimated.
Our Prediction: Atalanta to win @ 2.35
Source: BetInAsia Black