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Liverpool have the chance to extend their lead at the top of Group D to five points here and at the very least we should be set for an entertaining clash.
Neither side lacks attacking ambition and in fact, Atalanta have been Serie A’s top scorers in each of the past two campaigns, netting 98 times last term, while they’re second in that department in the early stages of the new season.
Only two teams have scored more than the Italian outfit in the Champions League group stages heading into matchday three, so we can expect them to threaten Liverpool’s makeshift backline.
Atalanta will have to make do without key left wing-back Robin Gosens, who was linked with Chelsea in the summer, but Gian Piero Gasperini was afforded the opportunity to rest attacking trio Luis Muriel, Josip Ilicic and Papu Gomez for a half each when beating rock-bottom Crotone this weekend.
Mattia Caldara, Marco Carnesecchi, Cristiano Piccini and Marten de Roon are also sidelined, but we wouldn’t expect their absences to hit Atalanta too hard and not in the final third.
Liverpool’s injuries help convince that this encounter will see yet more goals. The loss of Virgil van Dijk threatens to derail their entire season, compounded by Fabinho’s addition to the treatment table, while Joel Matip has proven himself injury prone in recent times and is a doubt here and unlikely to be risked.
Nat Phillips, who put in a commanding display against West Ham at the weekend, isn’t included in Liverpool’s Champions League squad, so Rhys Williams is expected to get the nod for this clash.
Jurgen Klopp has further missing players in midfield, where Thiago and Naby Keita are both doubts and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain remains sidelined.
Only the former would make the Reds’ best 11, though with the games coming thick and fast, the visitors could have done with the opportunity to shuffle the pack and keep the squad fresh.
Over 3.5 Goals
Liverpool have already conceded 15 times in the league from just seven games, a tally it took them 24 games to reach last term, as they rank amongst the division’s worst so far.
They’ve also had struggles away in Italy in recent times, losing to Roma in 2018 and to Napoli in the group stages of the last two campaigns.
Atalanta have sustained their performance levels domestically for some time now and they demonstrated how competitive they can be in Europe last term, only being taken down by a late quickfire double from eventual finalists PSG in the quarters.
All but two of Atalanta’s 11 Champions League matches have seen at least three goals, while four of the last five saw a minimum of four strikes.
This is nothing out of the ordinary for the Bergamo club, whose 2-1 win at the weekend was the first time in eight appearances across all competitions this season that didn’t feature at least four goals.
They’ll be sure to ask questions of Liverpool, who only hold a W5-D2-L6 record in away matches since mid-February.
Over 3.5 Goals At 10/11