Real Madrid looking to finish strong vs Atalanta
Photo by Antonio Villalba/Real Madrid via Getty Images

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema and Zinedine Zidane took the time to speak to the media on Monday ahead of the 2nd leg of their round of 16 tie versus Atalanta on Tuesday night at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium.

At the moment, Los Blancos hold a 1-0 lead on aggregate thanks to a late goal from Ferland Mendy that led to the win on Italian soil at the Gewiss Stadium in Bergamo two weeks ago.

Team news

There will be some major changes to Madrid's starting lineup as both Benzema and Sergio Ramos will be back in the team after missing the first leg due to their respective injuries. Los Blancos come into this contest after a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Elche CF on Saturday, thanks to a late goal from the aforementioned Frenchman.

Eden Hazard came in as a sub in the first leg, but he won't be available on Tuesday night due to injury.

"We will be releasing a medical statement later today," Zidane mentioned in his pre-game press conference. He was bombarded by questions from the Spanish media, but only said, "We are doing our best to work with him and that's all we can say right now."

Another key player that Madrid will be missing is Casemiro, who is suspended due to yellow card accumulation. 

Time to get the job done

Moving on to the game, Zidane is very focused on the task ahead.

"I've been here 20 years as a player, as a director, as a coach. Every match here is like that, it's not going to change, we know what we have to do, we played a good match on the road which was good, we won 1-0, we didn't get scored on, we scored an away goal but it means nothing because we know we need to play a big game tomorrow to advance and that's what we are going to try to do, the most important thing is to give 100% what is inside of us and not have any regrets and we only have one goal in mind and that is to advance."

Benzema was asked if he feels like he is the hero and savior of Los Blancos on his last question of the day.

"First of all, I don't see myself like that at all because it's not the right method. We are a team, I play a position where I have to finish so be it, helping my team, if we look at the match we have a lot of scoring chances, we are a big team, we have big players, every match is different. We try every time to play well on the pitch to win even if it's difficult at times, there is a lot of pressure and we need to continue our journey."

Kick-off for the 2nd leg is scheduled for 9:00 pm local time.

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