Atalanta v Liverpool Champions League preview

Atalanta Liverpool

After securing a slim 2-1 win over West Ham at Anfield at the weekend, Liverpool now travels to Italy tonight to face high-scoring Serie A side, Atalanta in the UEFA Champions League clash.

This is one of the congested fixtures the Reds are involved in with international break less than a week away. The England Champions will be hoping to cement their spot on top of the tables in both domestic and continental competition.

Liverpool had already gathered six points after traveling to Amsterdam and defeated Ajax 1-0 in a first time meeting in five decades, before beating Midtjylland, the debutant at home.

Jürgen Klopp‘s men now have another assignment on their hand, as they will be looking for a way to get maximum points at Gewiss Stadium Bergamo. This is also the first meeting between clubs.

Atalanta v Liverpool: The tales of two high-scoring sides

What makes football interesting is the high level of attacking that brings about goals. Both sides in recent seasons have been known to have this in their Arsenal as they play a spectacular brand of high-intensity, attacking football.

Atalanta has raised the bar in their 113 years history that has only seen them win just one domestic trophy. For the last two seasons, they have finished in third place on the Italian Serie A log and their playing pattern is not entirely dissimilar to Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds.

Within two seasons, Atalanta also reached the semi finals of the Coppa Italia last year, and the quarter finals of the Champions League this summer.

This remarkable feat has given Gan Piero Gasperini’s men the confidemce to face any team.

Duvan Zapata in action against Ajax

La Dea currently occupies the fourth spot in their domestic league, losing two games in six and conceded 13 goals.

After mauling Midtjylland 4-0, the Serie A side is in a strong position in Group D, with two points behind the Reds, following a home draw with Ajax last week.

Josip Ilicic returns

Gasperini decided to give returning Josip Iličić a run out after resting Duván Zapata during the weekend.

This means there could be a trident forward of Ilicic, Zapata, and Papu Gomez against the English champions. Luis Muriel is expected to come in at any time.

The last time the lanky lad scored was against Valencia when he dispatched four goals into their net at the Mestalla. He is therefore returning to the team at the right time for Gasperini tonight.

Atalanta v Liverpool Champions League clash: Injury news

Marten de Roon, and Robin Gosens are set to miss out with injuries.

Mario Pasalic could start alongside Remo Freuler in the middle of the park. The pair could be complement by Johan Mojica.

Romero should complete the defence with Rafael Toloi, Berat Djimsiti, and Hateboer back at right, while Marco Sportiello is expected to continue between the sticks for La Dea.

On the part of Liverpool, Joël Matip recently returned to full training and could be in contention to start for the first time since the Merseyside derby a few weeks ago.

Fabinho and Virgil van Dijk remains unavailable while Thiago was left at home. As Naby Keita recently returned to full training, he is in contention to play in Bergamo, alongside Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum, and James Milner.

In the attack, Roberto Firmino is likely to be benched after Diogo Jota continues his goalscoring forms, while Xherdan Shaqiri’s sudden burst of form makes him a genuine alternative for the first time in 18 months or so.

The match kicks off at 8PM GMT today.

Likely Atalanta lineup (3-4-1-2): Sportiello, Toloi, Romero, Djimsiti; Hateboer, Pasalic, Freuler, Mojica; Gomez; Muriel, Zapata

Likely Liverpool lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Gomez, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Henderson, Milner; Mané, Jota, Salah

The Officials (ROU)
Referee: Ovidiu Haţegan
Assistant referees: Octavian Șovre, Sebastian Gheorghe
Fourth official: Sebastian Colţescu
VAR: Juan Martínez Munuera (ESP), István Kovács


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