CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Champions League: potential Real Madrid line-up vs Atalanta

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane will be without the suspended Casemiro in Tuesday's Champions League last-16 second leg against Atalanta.

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Champions League: potential Real Madrid line-up vs Atalanta

Real Madrid will be without Casemiro when they bid to reach the Champions League quarter-finals at Atalanta’s expense on Tuesday night (21:00 CET), but one man they will have at their disposal is an in-form Karim Benzema.

In the 20 days since Madrid won 1-0 in Bergamo in the first leg of the sides’ last-16 tie, their injury situation has improved considerably. Los Blancos went to Italy with nine men out, just 13 first-teamers available and six ‘B’-team players in their matchday squad.

Benzema back from injury with a bang

Now, however, Zidane has welcomed back Sergio Ramos, Éder Militao, Marcelo, Federico Valverde, Rodrygo Goes - and Benzema, who has scored three goals in his two appearances for Madrid since returning from an ankle injury.

Casemiro banned for Atalanta second leg

Álvaro Odriozola, Dani Carvajal and Mariano Díaz remain in the Real Madrid sick bay and Eden Hazard has again been ruled out with an injury, while the yellow card Casemiro picked up in the opener against Atalanta means he is suspended for the second leg at the Estadio Alfredo di Stéfano.

Zidane has named 19 men in his squad for the match. There are a number of question marks over the Frenchman’s starting XI, ranging from whether or not he’ll repeat the three-man defence that started against Elche, to whether Valverde or Toni Kroos will fill in for Casemiro at anchorman. One thing that does seem certain is that the pair will be play alongside Luka Modric in midfield.

Potential Real Madrid line-up vs Atalanta:

Real Madrid’s most likely line-up against Atalanta appears to be: Thibaut Courtois; Nacho, Raphäel Varane, Sergio Ramos, Ferland Mendy; Federico Valverde, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric; Lucas Vázquez, Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio or Vinicius. Mendy is one booking away from a suspension.