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Real to go all out for win at Atalanta despite injuries, says Zidane

·2-min read
La Liga Santander - Real Madrid v Granada

BERGAMO, Italy (Reuters) - Real Madrid will attack Atalanta in Wednesday's Champions League last-16 first leg in Italy and go all out for victory despite missing close to half of their squad due to injury, coach Zinedine Zidane said.

Real are missing nine first-team players including captain Sergio Ramos, record signing Eden Hazard and top scorer Karim Benzema but have managed to overcome their injury problems in recent league matches, winning their last four outings.

"We're focusing on the players we do have available and we're going to prepare the game well and try to win it. We always go out on to the pitch to win, we never accept anything else," Zidane told a news conference on Tuesday.

"We know there's a second leg to come but we're only focused on tomorrow's game. We want to keep up our run of form and we know how difficult the game will be but we're concentrated and committed to putting in a good performance."

Zidane added that there was "no reasonable explanation" for the club's litany of injuries.

"We didn't have a pre-season campaign but neither did anyone else and we have had a lot of absences. But we'll compete with the players we do have and we're ready for the game," he said.

Real Madrid have not got past the Champions League last 16 since winning the competition for a third time in a row in 2018, going out to Ajax Amsterdam in 2019 and Manchester City last year.

Zidane likened Gian Piero Gasperini's Atalanta side to the Ajax team that took the Champions League by storm two years ago, saying they were "a very attacking team, physically strong and who do many things well".

"Gasperini was the Juventus youth coach when I played for them and he has done a great job, I love him as a coach," added the Frenchman.

(Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Toby Davis)