Romero welcomes Nerazzurri belief

24 February 2021 00:01:50 GMTPlus11

Atalanta central defender Cristian Romero insists his club believe they can beat Real Madrid in the Champions League round of 16 on Wednesday night.

Gian Piero Gasperini's side host Madrid in Bergamo for the first leg of the knockout encounter this week and will be boosted by the news Los Blancos are short of several first-team players.

We believe we can win, we believe in ourselves.

Cristian Romero

Madrid's 19-man squad flying to Bergamo features only 11 senior outfield players, with the likes of 17-goal Karim Benzema and veteran defender Sergio Ramos missing the encounter.

Eden Hazard, Marcelo, Dani Carvajal, Fede Valverde, Rodrygo, Alvaro Odriozola and Eder Militao are among the other players not travelling to Italy and Atalanta, who finished second in Group D behind Liverpool, but above Ajax and Midtjylland, are confident they can get a result.

Real won the Champions League in three successive seasons under Zidane between 2016 and 2018, but it was not plain sailing in the group stage this time around as they failed to win either of their first two matches and lost home and away to Shakhtar Donetsk.

Speaking about his team's opponents to UEFA.com, Atalanta centre-back Romero said: "Real are undoubtedly a club that has a great history. At the moment, they are not in the best shape, but we are focused on ourselves.

"We believe we can win, we believe in ourselves. We must put down a great performance to go through to the quarter-finals at the expense of such a strong and prestigious opponent."

Atalanta are 2.25 to beat Madrid on Wednesday evening, with the draw 3.40, while the Italians are 2.10 to reach the quarter-finals at the expense of Real.

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