Isco Joins Real Madrid Attack against Atalanta


Spanish midfielder Isco got a rare start up front for injury-hit Real Madrid in their Champions League last 16, first leg clash against Atalanta in Bergamo on Wednesday.

The record 13-time winners are without striker Karim Benzema to an ankle problem with an injury list also including Sergio Ramos, Eden Hazard and Dani Carvajal.

Attacking midfielder Isco will get his first Champions League start this season alongside Marco Asensio and Vinicius up front.

Duvan Zapata and in-form Luis Muriel lead the Atalanta attack in their first meeting with Real Madrid.

The Colombian pair are backed up by Matteo Pessina, who has stepped in after captain Papu Gomez left for Sevilla after falling out with coach Gian Piero Gasperini.

Joakim Maehle and Robin Gosens will be on the flanks with Josip Ilicic starting on the bench.

The match will be preceded by a minute's silence for Atalanta's former Ivorian player Willy Braciano Ta Bi who died on Tuesday aged 21 years from cancer.

Atalanta (3-4-1-2) 

Pierluigi Gollini; Rafael Toloi, Cristian Romero, Berat Djimsiti; Joakim Maehle, Marten De Roon, Remo Freuler, Robin Gosens; Matteo Pessina; Luis Muriel, Duvan Zapata

Coach: Gian Piero Gasperini (ITA)

Real Madrid (4-3-3) 

Thibaut Courtois; Lucas Vazquez, Raphael Varane, Nacho, Ferland Mendy; Luka Modric, Casemiro, Toni Kroos, Isco; Marco Asensio, Vinicius

Coach: Zinedine Zidane (FRA)

Referee: Tobias Stieler (GER)

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