Atalanta vs Leverkusen Prediction: Europa League

Atalanta vs Leverkusen Prediction: Europa League Match on 10.03.2022

Atalanta will be looking to put their loss to their top-four opponents on Saturday behind them when they host Leverkusen on Thursday at 21:00 GMT. 

Match Preview

Can Atalanta Take a Decisive Lead at Home ahead of the Return Leg Next Week in Germany?

Gian Piero Gasperini’s side lost ground in the chase for the top four when they lost against their direct rivals Roma on Saturday. However, they will be looking to put this result behind them and switch their attentions to the round-of-16 tie against Leverkusen in Bergamo. 

Gasperini’s focus will be ensuring that their Serie A form does not affect their performances in Europe. 

The match against Leverkusen will be a welcome distraction from their home performances that have seen them win just once in the last five outings.

Can Leverkusen Get a God Result to Ahead of their Home Leg of the Tie?

Buoyed by their 1-1 draw against Bundesliga league leaders Bayern Munich on Saturday, Leverkusen will be looking to translate the domestic good form into a robust performance in Europe.

Gerardo Seoane’s men travel to face a good Atalanta side on Thursday with the second leg to come next week in Germany.

Leverkusen are in decent domestic form, with three wins and a draw from their last five outings in the Bundesliga. This run sees them rank 3rd on the table, three points clear of fourth-placed Hoffenheim. 

Form Guide

Atalanta

Before dropping into the UEFA Europa League, Atalanta played six matches in the Champions League tournament in Group F.

In this run, Gasperini’s men won only once, drew thrice, and lost twice. They plundered 12 goals while conceding 13 in the process. 

Atalanta averaged a possession rate of 51.34 percent, and they kept only one clean sheet. Their defensive record was their undoing in the Champions League, which saw them finish behind Manchester United and Villarreal.

Leverkusen

Leverkusen have had a stellar campaign so far in the UEFA Europa League. In the six matches they have played, they have won four times, drawn once, and lost once.

Leverkusen have plundered 14 goals in this season’s campaign, an average of 2.34 goals every match. They have conceded only 5 goals, which s an average of 0.84 per match. 

Gerardo Seoane’s side have averaged 54.67 percent possession throughout their campaign, whereas they have kept two clean sheets in the process. 

This run of form shows that they have a potent attack and that their backline and overall shape allow them to minimize the number of goals they concede. 

Team News

Atalanta

Gasperini will be without the services of star striker Duvan Zapata; the 30-year-old is side-lined with a pulled hamstring at the adductors and is expected to be back in the middle of April.

Atalanta are also without long-term absentee Bryan Cabezas, with the 24-year-old nursing a ruptured cruciate ligament. 

Gasperini will also miss the services of striker Josip Ilicic, with the 34-year-old missing from the first tea due to depression since January 11th, 2022. No date has been set for his return to first-team football.

Leverkusen

Gerardo Seoane will be without center-forward Patrik Schick, who tore his muscle fiber on February 19th, 2022. No return date has been set for the striker to return to action for Leverkusen. 

Right-winger Karim Bellarabi is also sidelined with a hamstring injury, whereas goalkeeper Andrey Lunev is also missing from the Atalanta clash with a Syndesmotic ligament tear. 

Possible Starting Lineups

Atalanta

Musso; D. Zappacosta, J. Palomino, M. Demiral, H. Hateboer; R. Freuler, M. de Roon; M. Pasalic, T. Koopmeiners, M. Pessina; A. Miranchuk

Leverkusen

Hradecky; P. Hincapie, J. Tah, E. Tapsoba; M. Bakker, K. Demirbay, C. Aranguiz, J. Frimpong; M. Diaby, A. Adli; F. Wirtz

Players to Watch

M. Pasalic

With striker Zapata side-lined with injury, Pasalic has stepped up to take up the load in the Atalanta team. 

He has grabbed 10 goals and six assists in 33 appearances for the team. He will be crucial in the clash with Leverkusen.

M. Diaby

The forward is responsible for 15 goals and 9 assists in 29 appearances for Leverkusen. He will be crucial in the clash with Atalanta on Thursday with his goal threat and work rate. 

Prediction

Expect Atalanta to dominate possession and territory. Leverkusen will be pragmatic and seek to hurt Atlanta through transition or set plays. 

Atalanta will win this match and take a narrow lead to Germany next week.

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Author: Jesus Simmmons