It may not seem like Real Madrid have many advantages against Atalanta this week, given the number of injuries they have suffered and the form the Serie A side is in, but there are indeed a few ways in which Los Blancos are better than the Bergamo-based side.
Before tomorrow’s match at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia, let’s take a look at three advantages Real possess in this Champions League Round of 16 first leg fixture.
Real Madrid have Thibaut Courtois in goal
He may just be one man, but Thibaut Courtois gives Real Madrid a massive advantage. Atalanta have one of Europe’s best all-around strikeforces in Duvan Zapata and Luis Muriel, who have a combined 23 league goals between them. And Muriel is in great form, looking at his performance this weekend against Napoli.
Courtois is in fine form as well. He has a clean sheet in each of his past three matches and has now tied Jan Oblak for the lead in La Liga, one year after he had the most clean sheets in Spanish football.
We have seen Courtois make stunning saves on a weekly basis for Real Madrid, having reached his top form after a few months in the 2019-2020 season. The big Belgian has overcome adversity at the Santiago Bernabeu to rise to “Galactic” status. Don’t be surprised if he has a few more saves that define this Champions League tie.