Atalanta host Liverpool at Gewiss Stadium on Tuesday night in the UEFA Champions League. Liverpool have six points from their first two group games, whilst Atalanta have taken four points. Both hold a good lead over Ajax Amsterdam in third, who have one point. Will this game be a goal fest considering the gung ho approach of Gian Piero Gasperini and the injuries Liverpool have in defence?
The Bergamo based side have been inconsistent of late with two defeats in their last five matches, whilst leaking plenty of goals. The side have scored 23 goals in their last eight matches but have conceded 10 times in their last five. In the Champions League, they thrashed Midtjylland 4-0 in their opening game before coming back from 2-0 down at home to Ajax Amsterdam to draw 2-2 thanks to a brace by Duvan Zapata. The striker has five goals from his first eight matches this season. In their last match, Atalanta beat Crotone 2-1 after an early brace from Luis Muriel.
Atalanta Team News
The Italian club have some concerns ahead of this game. In goal, Marco Carnesecchi has Covid-19, Marten de Roon has an injury problem in midfield and Mattia Caldara is out with a knee injury. Robin Gosens is a doubt at wingback and the team saw midfielder, Hans Hateboer and defender, Cristian Romero go off with muscle injuries over the weekend and Rafael Toloi also sustained a heavy knock to his knee.
At home, Atalanta will attack in numbers in their 3-4-1-2 shape, often getting plenty of men into the box. They will play to win the game and try to outscore Liverpool. It is unlikely that they will settle for a draw at any point in the match.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have put together four wins in a row since they lost Virgil Van Dijk to injury and have also kept clean sheets away to Ajax and at home to Midtjylland. In their last game, they needed a late Diogo Jota goal to beat West Ham 2-1 having come from 1-0 down. Mohamed Salah scored the equaliser from the penalty spot.
Liverpool Team News
Virgil Van Dijk is out for the season and Fabinho is also likely to be missing as a centre back option due to a hamstring complaint. Joel Matip has a small chance of being fit to partner Joe Gomez, but it may otherwise have to be Rhys Williams (who was playing in the Sixth Tier of English football last season) as Nathaniel Phillips is not registered for the Champions League.
Liverpool have set up a little more defensively in recent games to give protection to their makeshift defence and against such a potent Atalanta attack, they are likely to be quite conservative by Klopp’s usual standards. A draw would be a great result in this game, so expect an abrasive midfield to be in place in the form of Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Gini Wijnaldum.
– Liverpool are five games unbeaten (four wins) (all competitions)
– Liverpool have kept two clean sheets in their last 6 matches (all competitions)
– Atalanta have seen Both Teams to Score Yes in 12 of their last 13 matches (all competitions)
– Atalanta have seen Over 2.5 Goals in their last 13 matches (all competitions)
– Atalanta have seen Over 3.5 Goals in their last 7 home matches (all competitions)
This game should be very high scoring with the attacks on display but with Liverpool’s question marks in defence. I think this may be a very high scoring draw.