Who: Atalanta vs Liverpool
When: Tuesday, November 3rd @ 3:00pm ET
Line: Atalanta +220 | Draw +290| Liverpool +110
Teams playing European soccer this campaign have an insanely heavy fixture list. Managers are forced into heavy rotation to keep their squads fresh. So there’s a degree of variability this season that is bit uncommon.
With that in mind, here’s an Atalanta vs Liverpool Champions League preview.
Atalanta vs Liverpool Champions League preview
It hasn’t been pretty, but Liverpool have steadied the ship after losing Virgil van Dijk to a cowardly, reckless challenge by Jordan Pickford. The Reds sit atop the table in the Premier League. If not for inexplicable VAR decisions against them by Manchester United supporter and ref David Coote, Liverpool would be a full 3 points clear of Leicester.
Mostly due to the backline and goal keeper injuries, Liverpool have the look of their 2017-18 squad. They’re scoring plenty, tied for second most in England with 17 goals. However, THEY’VE CONCEDED THE MOST GOALS IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE WITH 15.
Atalanta are sitting fourth in Serie A. Their 17 goals is second best in the league (behind Sassuolo!). Their 13 goals conceded is the most among teams in the top half of the table.
So this should be an open, high scoring match, right?
Don’t count on it.
Liverpool potential starting XI vs Atalanta
Jurgen Klopp has run out some unexpected line-ups this season. Atalanta’s primary attackers – Alejandro Gomez, Luis Muriel, Duvan Zapata, and (when healthy) Josep Illicic – are all between 29-32 years old. Is Klopp willing to risk trotting out a center-back tandem of Rhys Williams (19) and Joe Gomez (23)?
He may not have a choice.
Joel Matip fully trained with the squad on Sunday. When fit and in form, Matip has starred for the Reds. However, he’s rarely fit. Fabinho is still injured and out. Klopp also indicated that Rhys did not start this weekend in an effort to conserve him for the UCL clash with Atalanta.
The Looks Great in Training Naby Keita, who only looks great in training, also returned to fitness on Sunday.
With that in mind, here’s how Klopp will likely run out in his starting XI today based on fitness, rest, and recent performance.
Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Rhys Williams, Joe Gomez, Andy Robertson, Jordan Henderson, Gini Wijnaldum, Xherdan Shaqiri, Roberto Firmino, Diogo Jota, Mo Salah
Expect Klopp to use his five subs liberally. Sadio Mane, James Milner, Naby Keita, and (if defense is getting gashed) Joel Matip all figure to be early subs in.
Oddsmakers have priced the draw at +290, which indicates they believe one of this sides will win outright. Liverpool know they’re going through. They’re the team who traveled. They’re on essentially two days rest. Expect an ugly 2-1 Atalanta win.