Predicted XI

Champions League team news: How Real Madrid could line up against Atalanta

The Spanish champions travel to Bergamo with a squad ravaged by injuries, leaving Zinedine Zidane with some decisions to make

12:55pm on Tuesday 23rd February 2021
Martin Macdonald

Real Madrid received another injury blow this week with the news that star striker Karim Benzema will miss the Champions League last 16 fixture against Atalanta on Wednesday due to injury.

The Frenchman is the latest in a very long line of absentees who will not feature versus La Dea.

Zinedine Zidane only has 12 senior first-team players fit and available for the trip to Italy, with the rest of the places made up of youth team performers.

As well as Benzema, Madrid are without Sergio Ramos, Eden Hazard, Rodrygo, Marcelo, Eder Militao, Dani Carvajal and Federico Valverde.

With so many players missing, Zidane's hands are a bit tied when it comes to his starting XI.

Thibaut Courtois will start in goal behind a defence expected to be Lucas Vazquez at right-back, Ferland Mendy at left-back, and a central defensive pairing of Nacho and Raphael Varane.

The French boss will be grateful that he can still select his first-choice midfield, as Casemiro, Toni Kroos, and Luka Modric will all feature from the start.

With Benzema out injured and Luka Jovic now out on loan at Eintracht Frankfurt, Mariano Diaz will likely be asked to play as the centre-forward, with Vinicius Junior and Marco Asensio either side.

Isco is available, too, but Zidane doesn't seem to trust the Spaniard at the moment.

Youth players such as Hugo Duro, Sergio Arribas, Antonio Blanco, and Victor Chust will be on the bench.

Real Madrid predicted XI against Atalanta

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