Real Madrid: 3 predictions for Los Blancos against Atalanta

Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Toni Kroos
Real Madrid, Toni Kroos (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid will score off a set piece

Only Hakan Calhanoglu and Mason Mount have more shot-creating actions off dead balls in 2020-2021 among players in Europe’s top five leagues than Toni Kroos. The German international has been the best passer in the world this season when looking at his impact in all phases of the game, and while Atalanta have a couple of decent midfielders, they have nobody remotely near Kroos’ level.

We know Kroos will be able to pull the strings and control the game against Atalanta, just as he did twice against an even better Serie A side in Inter Milan. But where Kroos can truly make a difference in the scoreline is on set pieces.

The Real Madrid superstar had an assist over the weekend at Real Valladolid with a perfect delivery to Casemiro, who could have scored in the first half off another Kroos free kick. We have seen Kroos send in impeccable crosses from corners and free kicks several times this season, and it’s remarkable he only has eight goal-creating actions this season in comparison to his 81 shot-creating actions.

dark. Next. 3 advantages Real Madrid have over Atalanta

Without Karim Benzema healthy, Raphael Varane, who scored twice a couple of weeks ago at Huesca, and Casemiro, who leads the team’s available players with five goals, will give Real their best chances at scoring. Maybe Marco Asensio or Kroos or Luka Modric get a goal, but Casemiro and Varane on set pieces could represent Real’s best chance at grabbing a vital away goal. A 1-1 draw is not exactly as good as a win, but Madridistas may not complain if the club can get that result at Atalanta.