Real Madrid have exited the UEFA Champions League during the round of 16 in each of the past two campaigns, but Los Blancos boast a 1-0 advantage heading into their second-leg clash with Atalanta on Tuesday. Ferland Mendy’s 86th-minute intervention secured a valuable edge for Real in Bergamo last month, when Atalanta almost hung on for a draw despite Remo Freuler’s red card early on in the first leg:
What TV Channel is Real Madrid-Atalanta on?
CBS will broadcast both of Tuesday’s Champions League fixtures alongside TUDN, with kick-off in Madrid set for 3 p.m. ET. You can live stream Champions League matches on fuboTV.
How to Watch Real Madrid vs. Atalanta
When: Tuesday, March 16
Where: Estadio Alfredo di Stefano, Madrid, Spain
Time: 3 p.m. ET
TV: CBSSN, TUDN
Live Stream: fuboTV (watch for free)
La Dea remain hopeful of a return to the competition’s quarterfinals after making their maiden run to that stage when making their Champions League debut last season. Since falling at home to Zinedine Zidane’s men in February, Atalanta suffered just their second home defeat of the 2020-21 campaign at Inter Milan, who lost twice in as many group-stage meetings with Real.
Coach Gian Piero Gasperini told Sky Sport Italia (via Football Italia) his side “will not go there (Madrid) to have a walk” following their 3-1 triumph over Spezia on Friday. Atalanta’s attack-minded methods rarely give the impression the team is capable of walking under Gasperini, hoping to convert that energy into a third straight last-16 exit for Real.
The task of surpassing Zidane & Co. looks all the more daunting after club captain Sergio Ramos made his return from injury in Saturday’s 2-1 comeback win over Elche. Atalanta will take positives from the fact Real allowed their guests to score first, but Karim Benzema was back to his brutish best with two decisive touches in the closing minutes:
The return of Ramos bolsters Real’s defense in a big way, although Casemiro will be missed in midfield thanks to an accumulation of yellow cards in Europe. Federico Valverde should fill his role the starting lineup, which will also be without Eden Hazard as the Belgian’s nightmarish injury record in Madrid persists:
That being said, Zidane spoke to reporters on Monday and appeared to hint not all of Hazard’s absence may be due to his physical state, per AFP’s Tom Allnutt:
Aside from the suspended Freuler, defenders Hans Hateboer and Bosko Sutalo are also sidelined for Atalanta, though the Italian guests will hope Albania center-back Berat Djimsiti passes fit.
Gasperini will relish a second opportunity to go up against Real on level terms, though the fact their hosts are unbeaten in eight games doesn’t bode well for their chances of advancing. Atalanta must win to stand any chance of booking a quarter-final spot or, if it ends 1-0 in their favor after 90 minutes, at least forcing extra time.