Atalanta vs Liverpool Preview - High flying La Dea will provide huge test for Reds in Italy
Venue – Atalanta Stadium, Bergamo
Referee – Ovidiu Hategan
Date & Time – Tuesday, November 3rd 2020 @ 20:00
Current Odds – Atalanta 21/10, Draw 3/1. Liverpool 11/10
It’s another first for Liverpool this Tuesday as they play Atalanta in a competitive fixture, something that has never happened before. Expect goals aplenty in this one as both sides are likely to go all out for the three points on the night. This could be an end-to-end battle to keep you on the edge of your seat right until the final whistle. Get the drinks in, sit back, relax and enjoy…
Gian Piero Gasperini’s Atalanta are currently fourth in Serie A, level on points with Juventus and four behind leaders AC Milan. They have won four and lost two with a goal difference of +4 (17-13).
Atalanta are two points behind Liverpool in the Champions League, having won 4-0 away to FC Midtjylland and drawn 2-2 at home to Ajax.
Gasperini’s free-scoring side has not failed to score in a single fixture so far this season.
Liverpool is a team in crisis, apparently. With one of the lengthiest injury lists in the Premier League and a disproportionate amount of VAR decisions going against The Reds, one would expect them to be struggling for a place in the top six. However, Jürgen Klopp’s men have overcome every obstacle put before them to take their rightful place back at the top of the Premier League table.
After seven games – five of them wins – Liverpool are two points clear of second-placed Tottenham. The Reds are also top of this Champions League group with two wins from two (1-0 away to Ajax and 2-0 home to FC Midtjylland).
Liverpool have won four consecutive games since Virgil van Dijk’s season-ending injury in the Merseyside derby.
Atalanta Team News
Atalanta are without Marten de Roon and Mattia Caldara as both players are currently injured.
Gian Piero Gasperini prefers a three-man defence with his team having a very attacking mentality overall. He’s likely to go with his tried-and-trusted 3-4-2-1 shape against Liverpool on Tuesday night.
Despite Luis Muriel’s match-winning brace against Crotone at the weekend, it’s likely to be his Colombian compatriot Duván Zapata who leads the line against Liverpool. Zapata has scored three goals already in this season’s Champions League.
Alejandro Gómez and Ruslan Malinovskyi will be tasked with creating the chances for Zapata, linking the Italian club’s midfield and attack.
Liverpool Team News
Virgil van Dijk, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kostas Tsimikas and Fabinho are all out for The Reds. Naby Keïta is also expected to miss out while Thiago Alcântara and Joël Matip will face late fitness tests.
Nathaniel Phillips is not registered as part of Liverpool’s Champions League squad so the defender, who impressed so much in Saturday’s win over West Ham, won’t feature. In his place, young Rhys Williams is likely to be Joe Gomez’s partner in central defence.
Jurgen Klopp might opt again for the 4-2-3-1 shape, allowing two sitting midfielders to provide a little extra protection for The Reds’ makeshift defence.
That also means that the in-form Diogo Jota could start for Liverpool.
Klopp is likely to use the five subs rule to its fullest again as he looks to spread the workload through the squad as best he can.
Atalanta XI (3-4-2-1) – Sportiello; Tolói, Romero, Palomino; Hateboer, Pašalic, Freuler, Gosens; Malinovskyi, Gómez; Zapata
Liverpool XI (4-2-3-1) – Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Williams, Gomez, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum; Jota, Firmino, Mané; Salah
WHEN THEY LAST MET
Liverpool have never played Atalanta in any competitive fixture up to now.
ATALANTA 2 – 2 LIVERPOOL
There have been 30 goals in Atalanta’s six Serie A games so far this season. That’s an average of five goals per game. Gian Piero Gasperini’s side has gained the reputation of being one of the most exciting teams in Europe over the last 18 months or so. No team has managed to keep a clean sheet against La Dea this season. It’s hard to see Liverpool keeping them out with the current make-shift defence that Jürgen Klopp is having to use. I think it could be a hugely entertaining, high-scoring game on Tuesday night.