Liverpool VS Atalanta match preview: Reds look to extend lead in group stages

The games come thick and fast for Jurgen Klopp and his side. Their focus turns back to the Champions League where they face Atalanta.

Liverpool have won all their games in the Champions League so far and another win would all but be enough to see them qualify with two games still to play. This could be a great chance to use the two remaining games of the group stages as a chance to rotate and rest key players, there certainly isn’t many first team players left.

The previous game between the two sides gave Liverpool no problems. An emphatic 5-0 win away from home makes them favourites to win this tie as well.

On that night, Diogo Jota scored a hattrick and was the star of the show. There were impressive performances across the pitch, but the Portuguese stole the headlines.

 

 

  • Form of both sides

Liverpool come into the game in good form. In their previous Premier League game, they beat Leicester City 3-0 at Anfield to go a record 64 games unbeaten at Anfield. Leicester have been considered the dark horses of the title race but they failed to show their quality against the Reds. This is largely down to the nature of Liverpool’s performance.

Jota also scored against the Foxes, becoming the first ever Liverpool player to score in his first four home games in the league.

Klopp’s side now sit second in the Premier League, only behind Tottenham Hotspur on goal difference.

As for Atalanta, since they last played Liverpool they have drawn twice. They sit 7th in the Serie A and are only behind Napoli in 6th on goal difference.

They are third in the Champions League group and sit on four points. This is level with Ajax who are second and face FC Midtjylland.

 

 

  • Team news

The big team news for Liverpool is that Mohamed Salah will be able to play in this game following his negative covid-19 test. Salah missed Liverpool’s game at the weekend due to testing positive whilst on international duty but will be able to play. With Salah seemingly well-rested, he is expected to play in this game.

Naby Keita limped off during Liverpool’s win over Leicester. He has had a very unfortunate time with injuries and is unlikely to feature in this game. But Klopp admitted that there was “no news” regarding Keita’s injury.   

Another player unlikely to feature is Xherdan Shaqiri. He was not involved against Leicester, and a scan revealed that he picked up a muscle problem whilst away with Switzerland. He will be added to Liverpool’s large number of absentees.

 

 

  • Reds defensively sound in Champions League

Though many thought Liverpool would struggle defensively without Virgil Van Dijk, Liverpool have shown little signs of missing him.

With Joe Gomez also out for potentially the remainder of the season, a lot of pressure has been put on the other defenders to maintain Liverpool’s solid defence.

Rhys Williams has stepped up to the mark and performed very well in the Champions League. However, he too could be out for a bit with a hip injury he suffered with England u21’s. He did train with the team but may not be risked for this fixture.

Other players like Joel Matip and Fabinho have also done very good jobs in defence.

Liverpool are yet to concede a goal in the Champions League and are the only team in the Champions League to still not concede. With the usual high-profile defenders missing, the players who have had to come in and fill their spots have done tremendously well and deserve a lot of praise.

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