The highly-anticipated final round of matches for the last-16 of the UEFA Champions League takes place this week. Real Madrid CF will be hosting Italian side Atalanta on Tuesday, and the squad list has been released. Eden Hazard is a notable absence, but the return of Marcelo offers a bright spot.

Despite being the more successful team overall, Real Madrid was not the favourite coming into the clash against Atalanta. The Italians have been stellar in their attack, while the Spanish giants have been shaky all season and had gone through a string of mediocre results before the first leg.

However, Real Madrid managed to pull off a 1-0 victory against Atalana, and the Italians are fired up to make a comeback. This is why it is extremely important for Real Madrid to be on top of their game. Needless, to say it is crucial to have all of their top stars on the roster.

Unfortunately and to the collective chagrin of Real Madrid fans from all over the world, Belgian forward Eden Hazard has been diagnosed with yet another muscular injury and is not available for selection. He will reportedly undergo a surgery in the United States, which will hopefully address his issues once and for all.

?✅ ¡Estos son los 19 jugadores convocados para el partido ? @Atalanta_BC! #UCL

— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadrid) March 15, 2021

Fortunately, Karim Benzema will be available to lead the attack, after having been absent in the first leg. More importantly, captain Sergio Ramos is back after a knee surgery that had him out of service since January. He was already able to log in for a few minutes last Saturday, when Hazard also made his very short-lived comeback. While Ramos appears to have recovered well enough to be ready for Atalanta, Hazard has faced a major setback.

On another positive note, co-captain Marcelo has also returned after a lengthy period in the stands. It remains to be seen if he is ready to start the match. Nevertheless, even if he is not ready for the full 90 minutes, Zidane will be happy to have more first team players available. Dani Carvajal, Mariano Diaz and Alvaro Ordiozola are still out of commission, and Zidane will want to avoid adding more names to the list of absences for the tail end of the campaign.

Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard has endured a nightmare season at Real Madrid AFP / GABRIEL BOUYS