Liverpool vs Atalanta
| Wednesday, November 25th |
Champions League | Anfield
8PM BST / 3PM EST
Fresh off a dominant win over Leicester at the weekend, Liverpool continue their most recent run in an obscenely packed fixture list of 12 games in 41 days, by hosting Group D challengers Atalanta.
Results haven’t been great for the Italians since their 5-0 spanking at the hands of tomorrow’s opponents in Bergamo, as they have drawn twice — to Inter and La Spazia — and dropped down to seventh in the Serie A table. Their injuries have cleared up, but the front three of Duván Zapata, Papu Gomez and Josip ilicici have struggled to turn chances into shots and shots into goals.
With Juventus floundering, this looks likely to be an off year in the Serie A, but with la Dea already finding themselves six points back off leaders Inter, it could prove difficult to capitalise on the struggles of the Old Lady.
There is still all to play for in the Champions League, as Atalanta sit even with Ajax on four points, and a visit to Amsterdam coming up on the last day of the group stages.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Milner, Matip, Fabinho, Tsimikas; Wijnaldum, Thiago; Firmino, Mané, Jota, Salah
For the Reds, who started two midfielders in defence on Sunday, injuries will continue to be an issue for the foreseeable future, but with nine points already collected, a single win from the remaining three games — or a pair of strategic draws — will be enough to see Jürgen Klopp’s men through to the knockout stages. As such, it is likely that the manager will do his utmost to collect three points tomorrow night, so he can rotate his decimated squad over the coming weeks.
In the backline, Andrew Robertson might be granted a rest and Kostas Tsimikas a start, but the remaining starters from the Leicester win will likely feature again. Naby Keïta was substituted with a hamstring problem at the weekend, but Thiago could be back in contention, and a matchday decision will likely be made about Jordan Henderson. Nonetheless, iron man Georginio Wijnaldum and young workhorse Curtis Jones are both available.
Mohamed Salah returns after testing negative for Covid following his quarantine, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Egyptian join Sadio Mané, Roberto Firmino, and the hat-trick hero from the first meeting, Diogo Jota to reassemble the front four that looked so devastating in the opening stanza against Manchester City two weeks ago.
What the Managers Said
Jürgen Klopp: “Atalanta is a top team and with a special way to play. At Atalanta, we did really well and we have to do well again, otherwise we have massive problems.”
Gian Piero Gasperini: ““Honestly, beating them would be a great satisfaction. I saw Liverpool against Leicester and they are probably living their best moment [of the season]. Doing a good result at Anfield would be very important for our path in the competition and would give us great satisfaction.”
The Officials (ESP)
Referee: Carlos del Cerro Grande
Assistant referees: Juan Carlos Yuste, Roberto Alonso Fernandez
Fourth official: José Luis Munuera Montero
VAR: Alejandro Hernández, Guillermo Cuadra Fernandez
Kickoff is set for 8PM GMT/3PM EST tomorrow, and television listings for the match can be found on LiveSoccerTV.
In the meantime, and as always, we’ll be keeping you updated with all the buildup to the game, including team news as it’s released, our live matchday thread, and post-match recaps from The Liverpool Offside staff. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account to have your say on the action as it happens.