Serie A side Atalanta, play hosts to Spanish side, Real Madrid today by 9pm in the Champions League round of 16 first leg.
This is the first competitive encounter between Atalanta and Real Madrid. In fact, Atalanta’s only previous meeting with a Spanish side in European competition was in last season’s round of 16 when they faced Valencia – they won 8-4 on aggregate.
It is important to note that Real Madrid have reached the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League for the 24th consecutive season, the longest such run in the history of the competition.
The last time they failed to make the latter phase of the tournament was in 1996/97 – it was also the last season in which Real didn’t feature in any European competition.
Atalanta (quarter-finalists last year) are the first team since Sevilla (2007/08 & 2009/10) to reach the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League in each of their first two tournament appearances.
Also, Atalanta are the only remaining side in this round of 16 yet to win a single home game in the UEFA Champions League this season (D2 L1).
None of Atalanta’s 15 Champions League games has ended goalless. Since last season, their matches have produced 53 goals (27 for, 26 against), an average of 3.5 per game.
Today’s game might be difficult to predict, given Real Madrid’s current instability and Atalanta’s fearlessness. But one thing is goals. Best bet is over 2.5 goals today.
CcnWorldTech Betting Prediction: Over 2.5 goals
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