It is not a regular occurrence to see European giants Real Madrid go into a champion’s league clash looking like the weaker side.
It is even more surprising given they are playing against Atalanta BC, an Italian side with little European pedigree.
Unfortunately for the Los Blancos, this is the situation they find themselves in.
A squad ravaged by injury, only managing to scale through matches.
The real picture of how bad it has become becomes clearer when you realize that Casemiro, a defensive midfielder is the second-highest goal scorer for the team this season.
The injury worries have been more damaging as it keeps taking the most important players in the team.
The players currently out through injury include:
The team captain, Sergio Ramos, underwent knee surgery at the start of February and is not expected to feature in a match till April 2021.
Karim Benzema, the club’s most important and experienced forward, missed the last La Liga match with an ankle injury and may not feature in this UCL tie.
Rodrygo, the dazzling young Brazilian, has been injured with a thigh injury since December, and he remains unavailable.
Dani Carvajal, the right-back, had a relapse with his previous hamstring injury and had to exit the match against Valencia. He is going to be out for some weeks.
Fede Valverde remains unavailable with his muscle injury.
Eden Hazard, the high-valued forward, is still out with a muscle injury.
Marcelo, the experienced left-back, suffered a calf problem earlier in the month, and he is still out.
Odriozola, the right-back, got a hamstring problem in the early part of the month and is spending time on the sidelines.
Eder Militao, the Brazilian defender, missed the last match with an abductor issue, and he is still out.
Injuries have not been kind to Real Madrid.
The team coach, Zinedine Zidane, has had to manage the small crop of players available to mount pressure on Atletico Madrid at the top of the table.
He faces an Atalanta coming off a 4-2 win against Napoli and high on confidence.
The Italian side is known for its high-intensity style that stretches its opponent.
Will Real Madrid be able to cope?