Atalanta hosts Real Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League 1/8 finals. The match will be played on Wednesday, February 24th at Gewiss Stadium (Bergamo)
Atalanta is the phenomenon of European football, which appeared thanks to the brilliant work of the coaching staff and competent management. We may well see a real grandee in Bergamo, unless the club deviates from the chosen development strategy. And of course, it should grow financially. AS for the situation in Serie A, Atalanta is again claiming a position in the Champions League zone. And the club played well in the group stage of the current tournament, outranking Ajax and Midtjylland. More and more talented young players appear in Atalanta. In particular, Mehle and Kovalenko were signed up in winter. The leaders of the Italian club (Gollini, Toloi, Zapata, Muriel, Freuler, and Gosens) are in excellent condition.
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Real Madrid is struggling to keep up with the pace of the championship race in LaLiga. Its unstable performance is a consequence of staff shortages, regular injuries of leading players, and the lack of an optimal combination of players on the field. Zinedine Zidane is predicted to be fired, but the problem of the Whites lies much deeper - the regression of former leaders and the lack of adequate replacement for them. In the Champions League, Real Madrid is one of the favorites of the tournament, but Bayern, Liverpool, Atlético, and PSG look preferable in terms of the game. Nevertheless, the team from Madrid is supported by the vast experience of successful performances in the European Cup arena.
Real Madrid has an enormous staffing problem, which is why more and more representatives of the youth squad appear on the bench. But they are not ready to play at such a high level. The Spanish grandee has obvious difficulties in the defensive line, and Zidane will probably have to switch to a system with three central defenders. With such gifts from rivals, Atalanta is simply obliged to get a positive result at the native stadium.
Prediction for the match: Atalanta to win with +0.5 handicap