Actual Madrid is seeing a few of its tops gamers get again in form at an important time of the season, and coach Zinedine Zidane can have the squad nearer to full energy on Tuesday when it defends its first-leg win over Atalanta within the spherical of 16 of the Champions League.
Karim Benzema, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo and Eden Hazard — who’ve missed a number of matches lately due to accidents, together with the primary recreation in opposition to Atalanta — are all anticipated to be obtainable for the second leg on the Alfredo Di Stéfano Stadium.
Madrid had almost 10 gamers sidelined not way back, however little by little they’ve been coming again to motion to assist the membership because it enters the ultimate stretch of the season whereas nonetheless in competition within the Champions League and the Spanish league.
Benzema returned two matches in the past and Ramos performed in a 2-1 win over Elche within the Spanish league on Saturday. Hazard additionally performed a couple of minutes in opposition to Elche, and Marcelo is about to return to the squad on Tuesday after greater than a month out injured.
Ramos and Hazard have been out for almost two months. Ramos performed from the beginning on the Di Stéfano, whereas Hazard got here off the bench close to the top of the match during which Madrid gained with two objectives by Benzema, who had missed three consecutive video games.
There’s nonetheless some doubt about Hazard for Tuesday’s recreation as he didn’t begin Monday’s apply session with the remainder of the group.
The return of these gamers offers Zidane higher flexibility tactically, as he has been experimenting with totally different setups lately and will make the most of having extra choices obtainable. He has been favoring a Three-5-2 scheme that he used in opposition to Elche and is prone to strive it once more.
The return of Marcelo could make it simpler for him to make use of that formation because the Brazilian can play properly serving to the assault. The three-5-2 scheme backfired for Zidane a couple of weeks in the past when he switched from a Four-Three-Three formation midway by a league match in opposition to Actual Sociedad, when left again Ferland Mendy struggled and Madrid ended drawing 1-1 at residence.
Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini has nearly a full squad obtainable, although defender Remo Freuler is suspended following his purple card within the first leg. Madrid can be with out the suspended Casemiro due to an accumulation of yellow playing cards.
Atalanta has gained all its European matches away from residence this season, together with a 2-Zero victory over Liverpool at Anfield. It has gained three of its 4 video games in Serie A for the reason that first-leg loss to Madrid.
Atalanta is seeking to make it to the Champions League quarterfinals for the second straight season. Madrid hasn’t made it out of the final 16 within the final two seasons.