Champions League: Crystal Ball Prediction of Liverpool’s trip to Atalanta

Xherdan Shaqiri of Liverpool (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Xherdan Shaqiri of Liverpool (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images) /
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November 2, 2020, Gewiss Stadium, Bergamo, Italy | Liverpool look to make it three wins in as many matches in the UEFA Champions League when they take on exciting Serie A side Atalanta in Italy.

These two sides have never lined-up against one another before, but Atalanta will be eager to play the underdog to the English champions while hoping home advantage will help them pull off an upset.

Liverpool have not been their sparkling best, but rather methodical in collecting their first two wins in Group D. They’ve been defensively solid despite injuries to key defensive players, chiefly Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho, and Alisson.

Joel Matip’s injury woes have not made the situation any better, but that hasn’t stopped the Merseysiders from taking maximum points and control over Group D. The Reds will be looking for a similar result away to a tough Serie A side.

Perhaps even more than keeping their perfect start in Group D intact, manager Jurgen Klopp will be hoping that all 18 players in the matchday squad stay injury-free ahead of a crucial early-season clash with Manchester City looming at the weekend.

Atalanta will want to return to their winning ways, but Gian Piero Gasperini will know that they’ll be facing the favorites of the group. Against FC Midtjylland, they looked sharp and full of menace, but the luster of that first performance faded considerably in their defeat to Ajax.

Coming into the group, Atalanta would have known that results against Ajax and/or Liverpool were likely the only way they would be able to advance past the group stages, so this opportunity against an ailing Liverpool at home is their best chance to spring the upset and possibly shock one of the biggest clubs in European soccer.

Atalanta have had their own injury woes, so getting a positive result against the Reds will be a monumental task, given that they (Liverpool) still have one of the most fearsome attacking trios in all of Europe.

Add the in-form Diogo Jota and Xherdan Shaqiri to the equation and the math simply doesn’t add up to a promising situation. But that’s why the games are played on the pitch and not on paper. You never know what may happen in 90 minutes of football!