Real Madrid are finally back in action in the UEFA Champions League and they’ll take on the free-flowing attacking team of Atalanta. They may not be feared simply because their name isn’t Juventus but that does not mean they can be taken lightly. Currently sitting in fourth place in Serie A, Atalanta are capable of creating a lot of problems for Los Blancos who will have to be wary on Wednesday night. Unfortunately for Zidane, there isn’t too much he can do with his current squad as he still continues to wait for key players to return from injury.
We witnessed another absolute masterclass from Thibaut Courtois on Saturday against Real Valladolid and he’ll possibly be relied on even more on Wednesday night. The Belgian will be expected to continue being on his A-Game which he has been on all season so far.
Don’t expect any changes to the back four from what we saw against Real Valladolid as the manager is quite short on options. Lucas Vazquez will be on the right as Raphael Varane and Nacho Fernandez will take the center. The partnership and understanding between the two have clearly been improving while Nacho has shown that he’s always more than ready to be used effectively whenever Zidane needs him. On the left, Ferland Mendy will be chosen and will be hoping for an improved performance offensively on the night.
Carlos Casemiro has scored during the weekend as he is the second-highest goalscorer in the team at the moment. He has improved immensely since the start of the season as the Brazilian is hitting top form at the right moment. Toni Kroos will be in front of him to continue his incredible way of making football look easy while the tireless Luka Modric will once again treat us to some magic in the center of the pitch. The trio have been starting for Real Madrid for years, and whenever they are all clicking together, there aren’t many better sights in football.
Could we potentially see a surprising change here? It’s doubtful but anything is possible. Marco Asensio has been starting in recent games but the Spaniard simply cannot hit the form that many expected him to. Even though he will probably start, a change to see Isco or even Sergio Arribas play there isn’t too farfetched.
On the left, Vinicius Junior will continue his improved performances but will have to find a way to keep it going throughout the game and not just in random bursts. Up front, Mariano Diaz will start due to Karim Benzema’s injury. Castilla striker Hugo Duro made his senior debut during the weekend but is not expected to start however he may come on during the game depending on how it progresses.
Full Starting Lineup
Thibaut Courtois, Lucas Vazquez, Raphael Varane, Nacho Fernandez, Ferland Mendy, Carlos Casemiro, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Marco Asensio, Vinicius Junior, Mariano Diaz