Atalanta v Real Madrid confirmed team news: Isco makes surprise start as Madrid without striker in Champions League tie

Wednesday evening sees the continuation of the Champions League Round of 16 as Real Madrid travel to Bergamo for their first leg clash against Atalanta.

The major piece of team news for Madrid sees out-of-favour playmaker Isco make a surprise start as he is selected ahead of striker Mariano Diaz, meaning no recognised striker starts.

Star forward Karim Benzema has not recovered his fitness and joins Sergio Ramos, Eden Hazard, Marcelo, Dani Carvajal, Fede Valverde, Rodrygo Goes, Alvaro Odriozola and Eder Militao on the absentees list, which is dominating Real Madrid news.

Therefore, Mariano is the only senior outfield player for Los Blancos who has not been selected by Zinedine Zidane for this crucial clash in northern Italy.

Mariano-epa15122019

It is likely that Isco will head a midfield diamond with Vinicius Junior and Marco Asensio as the leading attacking threats.

Five youth players – Sergio Arribas, Antonio Blanco, Miguel Gutierrez, Hugo Duro and Victor Chust – are all on the bench for Madrid.

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