- Bookmakers are giving Italian side Atalanta every chance of earning a result on Wednesday in its UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first-leg clash with historic Spanish giant Real Madrid
- La Dea sit in Serie A’s 3rd- to 7th-place jumble, while Los Blancos have narrowed the gap to La Liga-leading Atletico Madrid to just three points in recent weeks
- Get a breakdown of the two clubs, Wednesday’s matchup odds and a few value picks below
While the two clubs involved in Wednesday’s Round of 16 clash could not have more different backgrounds — Atalanta in just its second-ever Champions League campaign, Real Madrid the competition’s all-time winningest club (13 titles) — the scales remain quite balanced in this Atalanta vs Real Madrid match.
At +138, Atalanta is actually a (slight) favorite for the first leg on Wednesday and secured more group stage points (11) in Group D than its visitors (10) atop Group B.
Atalanta vs Real Madrid Champions League Odds
|Atalanta vs Real Madrid||ATA pk (-132) | RMA pk (+110)||ATA +138 | RMA +185 | DRAW +265||Ov 2.5 (-162) | Un 2.5 (+128)|
Odds taken Feb 21 at DraftKings
Gian Piero Gasperini’s side has been part of Serie A’s resurgence in recent seasons, playing expansive soccer with an emphasis on a multi-pronged attack; Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid has enjoyed success of late after a hairy first half of the campaign saw it nearly slide out of domestic title contention and the group stage.
Wednesday’s meeting will be the first-ever competitive clash between the two sides.
Atalanta: Changing the Narrative
With the second-most goals in Serie A (53) this season and a whopping 2.5/game at home, there is no doubt Atalanta boasts serious firepower.
Its group stage performance, however, was underwhelming at home: Draws against Ajax (2-2) and Midtjylland (1-1) and an ugly loss to Liverpool (0-5) forced the team to win all three away from home — which they did, compiling a 7:0 goals difference in the process — to advance.
The two-headed Colombian strike force of Luis Muriel and Duvan Zapata has proven deadly this season, combining for 23 goals, while Robin Gosens (7) and Josip Ilicic (4) have provided secondary scoring.
Atalanta vs Real Madrid Stats
|3-2-1 (2nd, Group D)||2020-21 Champions League Group Stage||3-1-2 (1st, Group B)|
|10 (1.67/game)||Goals scored||11 (1.83/game)|
|8 (1.33/game)||Goals conceded||9 (1.50/game)|
|Duvan Zapata (3)||Leading Scorer||Karim Benzema (4)|
|W – W – W – D – D||Overall Form||W – W – W – W – L|
|Lost QF to PSG||2019-20 Finish||Lost R16 to Manchester City|
|0-0-0||H2H Record Since 2007 (W-L-T)||0-0-0|
Real Madrid: Continental Glory
While Zidane’s managerial post at Real Madrid appeared to be on life support a few months ago, the Frenchman has lifted his side back into the La Liga title race and kept it alive in the Champions League; if he can guide his team to one or both pieces of silverware, he may just live to see another season.
Los Blancos have been consistent if unspectacular in recent weeks, racking up clean sheets and wins against bottom-half opposition.
An ugly start to its Champions League campaign made a final-day 2-0 win over Monchengladbach a necessity to advance, and topping the group was likely undeserved.
Atalanta vs Real Madrid Best Bets
Wednesday’s hosts scored multiple goals in three of six group stage matches, and Real conceded multiple goals in two of three away matches during the last phase of the competition.
While Real Madrid has been excellent defensively in Spain of late, conceding just once in its last four, Atalanta is a significantly tougher task than the run of Getafe-Valencia-Valladolid it just faced.
Expect Atalanta to come out aggressively in an effort to take hold of the tie going back to Spain, and the hosts Over 1.5 (-103) at near-even money could be a strong play.
Additionally, backing the Colombian duo of Luis Muriel (+180) or Duvan Zapata (+155) to score would be smart money; one of the two has scored in each of Atalanta’s last four matches.
Pick: Atalanta Over 1.5 (-103), Luis Muriel to Score (+180)
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