Premier League champions Liverpool are looking to maintain their 100% record in the Champions League when they host Serie A outfit Atalanta on Wednesday night. The Reds will aim for more of the same after they dismantled La Dea in Italy earlier this month.
Where and when: Anfield – 25 November, kick-off 20:00
Where you can see Liverpool vs. Atalanta: BT Sport
Last time: Liverpool produced a stunning performance to thrash Atalanta 5-0 at the Gewiss Stadium a few weeks ago, with Diogo Jota bagging a hat-trick and Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane also on target for the Reds.
Liverpool v Atalanta Predictions and Preview
It seemed for all the world that Atalanta would give Liverpool a real game in the run-up to their clash in early November. La Dea are a club on the rise and have the best attack in Italy, but the magic deserted them when the Premier League champions came to town.
Visiting Anfield after such a heavy defeat is going to be tough for Atalanta, but they can at least take some comfort in the fact that the stands at the famous old stadium will be empty of the usual fervent home support. Even so, La Dea are not a team in good form right now.
Gian Piero Gasperini’s side only won one of their five fixtures prior to the international window, losing twice to Sampdoria and Liverpool. They did pick up draws against Ajax and Inter, while Atalanta do still have a fearsome attack which their hosts on Wednesday must be wary of.
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Liverpool to win and BTTS
Liverpool to win 3-1
Jota to score first
La Dea have finished as the top scorers in Serie A in each of the last two seasons, netting 23 more than champions Juventus – led by Cristiano Ronaldo – last term. No team has managed more than Atalanta’s 18 goals in seven games so far in the Italian top flight this season, while the Bergamo outfit scored six times in their first two Champions League fixtures, prior to their clash with Liverpool.
What’s more, their hosts here are in the midst of defensive crisis, with first-choice centre-back pairing Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez both sidelined through serious knee injuries. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Fabinho are also injured, while Rhys Williams is a further defensive absentee.
In midfield, Jordan Henderson, Thiago Alcantara and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are all doubts for this game, while Mo Salah is expected to miss out after testing positive for coronavirus. Atalanta’s Ruslan Malinovsky also has covid, while Robin Gosens, Marten de Roon and Mattia Caldara are all injury concerns.
The visitors have a much cleaner bill of health and a great chance of at least getting themselves on the scoresheet in this return fixture. However, even with their problems, Liverpool are a real force to be reckoned with. They’ve shown their resilience on so many occasions over the last few years, and they are the 13/7 favourites to pick up another win here. The visitors are 17/5 in these Liverpool v Atalanta predictions, while you can back the draw at 10/3.
One to watch for Liverpool: Diogo Jota helped himself to a hat-trick against the Nerazzurri just a few weeks ago, and the in-form Portuguese forward looks enticing at 5/1 for the opener in this one.
One to watch for Atalanta: Duvan Zapata already has three goals in the Champions League this season, including a brace against Ajax. He is 13/2 to break the deadlock on Wednesday night.
Long shot: Like the first Group D meeting between these clubs, this Liverpool v Atalanta preview has the potential to be a high-scoring affair. Liverpool to win and over 4.5 goals is priced at 7/2, while another 5-0 victory for the Reds is priced at 66/1. Those odds rise to a massive 335/1 with Jota scoring first.