Preview and Prediction
La Dea’s terrific domestic campaign earlier this season abruptly ended after being trashed by Napoli in the mid October. Since then, they are striving again to find consistency and even in difficulty to score at some games. This midweek would be another challenge they have to face while hosting the 2019 Champions, Liverpool. The Reds are now slowly in good progress due to their stable form in all competition although it is not always entirely with entertaining big wins.
The teams’ previous matches
Atalanta could only snatch a narrow win last weekend as they thumped the newly promoted team, Crotone 2-1 on the road. The Colombia international Luis Muriel buried twice into the net before the host responded by Simy. They are now sitting on the fourth of the table.
The Reds also had an identical 2-1 win over West Ham last weekend. Yet, such was gained in a hard way as they conceded first by Pablo Fornals. Klopp’s men’s mentality eventually helped them win as they overturned the score sheet through Mo Salah’s penalty and Diogo Jota’s header. This victory led them to climb to the top of the standings this week.
Gian Gasperini’s preference to the fluid 3-4-3 with the transition to 3-4-2-1 or 3-4-1-2 might need to be modified, considering the possibility that such formation can be well anticipated by their opponent. Deploying 4-3-1-2 could be an option. Rodrigo Toloi an Jose Palomino will be the center back and Robin Gosens plus Hans Hateboer can occupy the full back role. In the midfield, Remo Freuler will be accompanying Matteo Mario Pasalic and Ruslan Malinovsky to support Papu Gomez as the playmaker. In the injury table, Mattia Caldara and Matt de Roon are sidelined for this fixture.
Meanwhile, Jurgen Klopp’s 4-3-3 seems to be still effective. However, it is high time to rotate the front three regarding Roberto Firmino’s poor form lately. Diogo Jota shall get the nod for the starting IX here alongside Sadio Mane and Mo Salah. The only concern in Liverpool is the long absence of Virgil Van Dijk.
Players to watch
The Argentine captain, Papu Gomez, is still the key figure of the team with four goals and two assists so far. Yet, the return of Josip Illic as well as Duvan Zapata or Luis Muriel’s improving form lately shall ease Papu’s task, especially on scoring. Another vital name to watch is the Ukraine international Ruslan Malinovsky.
Liverpool’s new forward signing, Diogo Jota has been impressive lately. He has bagged four goals in all competition. Some other notable figures who could make the difference in this game are Sadio Mane, Thiago Alcantara and last but not least, Mo Salah.
Atalanta vs Liverpool Prediction
Jordan Henderson and Co might have to struggle again to pick up three points as Atalanta surely has the home advantage. If Gasperini’s men do modify their tactics as suggested, it might stun The Reds. Nevertheless, Liverpool’s experience and mentality could be the key in this game. A narrow win seems a reasonable result here.