Both Real Madrid and Manchester City hold leads and will be the home teams for the second leg of their Champions League Round of 16 clashes, though the English side won’t actually get the advantage of playing at the Etihad Stadium.
Real comes into its second leg with a 1-0 lead over Atalanta after picking up a critical away goal in Italy last month.
Madrid playing without injured Hazard
FanDuel Sportsbook rates Madrid as a +125 pick to win the second leg, and a -300 pick to go through to the Champions League quarterfinals. But Atalanta manager Gian Piero Gasperini says his team is still very much in the fight.
“Real Madrid were the favorites, and now they are even more. We can still qualify, we want to be as competitive as possible,” Gasperini told reporters at a press conference. “We are sorry we couldn’t play the first leg as we wanted. We had to play a defensive game, but we can’t think about that game. It belongs to the past.”
Atalanta will face a Real Madrid side that comes in nearly at full strength. Marcelo, Karim Benzema, and Sergio Ramos all missed the first leg, but will be in the Real lineup on Tuesday.
Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard will miss the match due to a muscle injury in his right leg. Hazard played on Saturday, coming off the bench against Elche, but had missed two months prior to that appearance.
“He is not fit to be with us in this match,” Real coach Zinedine Zidane told reporters. “I can’t tell you any more because I can’t explain these things. I hope it’s not much because we have to be positive. Something is happening. He’s a player who has never been injured or not been injured much in his career, and this is a new situation for him. I can’t explain it.”
Man City aims for Champions League title
In Tuesday’s other Champions League match, Man City will play host against Borussia Monchengladbach. In reality, the teams will play at a neutral venue in Budapest for the second time due to COVID-19 travel restrictions in Europe.
City won the first leg 2-0 as the away team, earning the English side a big advantage heading into the second game. FanDuel rates City as a heavy -450 favorite to win on Tuesday, while Monchengladbach is a +3700 long shot to overcome the two-goal deficit and advance to the Champions League quarterfinals.
|Champions League Odds (via FanDuel Sportsbook)|
|Real Madrid: +125||Draw: +260||Atalanta: +200|
|Man City: -470||Draw: +550||Mgladbach: +1100|
With City having all but wrapped up the Premier League title, thoughts are turning to bigger goals. Many supporters believe this could be the year that manager Pep Guardiola finally leads the team to a Champions League title, but he says he wants his squad to take things one step at a time.
“We’re going to try to win tomorrow and go to the quarterfinals. This is the only target I have,” Guardiola told reporters on Monday. “What we have to do is the game we play tomorrow. This is the only thing I’m concerned with.”