All you need to know about tonight’s Champions League fixture
Liverpool play Atalanta tonight in what should be an enthralling contest. This is the first ever meeting between the two sides in any competition and it should not disappoint. Both teams play exhilarating, fast paced football so football fans should be in for a treat tonight.
Some fans may expect a straightforward victory for Liverpool tonight, but that almost certainly won’t be the case. Atalanta are one of the fastest rising teams in European football. Over the past couple of years, they’ve established themselves as one of the best teams in Italy. They currently sit 4th in the Serie A and 2nd in their Champions League behind the Reds, respectively. They may not be the most decorated side in the competition, but they’re no pushovers, either.
After a slow start, Liverpool appear to have gotten their season up and running. They currently sit 1st in their Champions League group and will be looking to cement that position with a victory over Atalanta. They also sit 1st in the Premier League, despite their injury woes and less than impressive performances – which included a 7-2 loss at the hands of Aston Villa.
Here’s all you need to know about tonight’s game:
Liverpool are missing a handful of important first team players – namely Virgil Van Dijk, Fabinho and Thiago. In more positive news, Joel Matip and Naby Keita have returned to training following their injuries. However, Klopp is unlikely to start the pair due to fitness concerns.
Nat Phillips made his Premier League debut for Liverpool on the weekend. It has been an incredible few weeks for Phillip, but he won’t be making his Champions League debut tonight. Phillips looked exceptionally assured against West Ham United during the weekend in a performance which earned him man of the match. He is not registered for the Champions League, though, meaning he won’t play a part. It’s harsh, but that’s football sometimes.
Nat Phillps’ absence means Rhys Williams will likely make his third Champions League appearance tonight. Williams replaced Fabinho last week after the Brazilian picked up a knock and looks likely to make his first Champions League start tonight. Joe Gomez will likely partner Williams – or otherwise – as he looks a nailed-on starter.
The likely absence of Keita and Thiago in midfield means another fringe player will likely get an opportunity. Curtis Jones or James Milner are likely to fill the position. Curtis Jones started against West Ham at the weekend, but Klopp may opt for the experience and reliability of James Milner.
Klopp will also have a selection headache up top. The front three of Mane, Firmino and Salah has been a consistent fixture in recent years, but the recent arrival and form of Diogo Jota is hard to ignore. Firmino’s form has been called into question recently, so the Brazilian may have to make way for the in-form Jota.
A BIG winner against the Hammers ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/1MI0C8vpEQ
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) OCTOBER 31, 2020
Like Liverpool, Atalanta are also not without their absences. Also like Liverpool, manty of their absences come from within their defensive unit.
Regular starters Mattia Caldara, Marten de Roon and Robin Gosens will all miss tonight’s game due to injury. Recently loaned Cristiano Piccini is also unlikely to feature due to injury.
There is no such problems on the attacking front, however. Liverpool fans should be concerned about Papu Gomez and Duvan Zapata in particular. After stellar campaigns last term, the forwards have started this season in the same fashion. Both have 5 goals so far this season, with a host of assists between them, also. Luis Muriel is another dangerous option up front, having also scored 5 goals in 8 appearances this season.
Josip Ilicic is another man for Liverpool to worry about. The second striker has failed to get going so far this season, but he most definitely displayed his quality last season. The veteran scored 21 goals in all competitions last season in what was a stellar campaign.
Atalanta could cause serious problems for Liverpool if they turn up on the day.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-1 Atalanta
Atalanta take on Liverpool on Tuesday as the #UCL resumes
Who wins? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/tWDe7OkXpC
— Goal (@goal) NOVEMBER 2, 2020
WHAT TIME IS KICK OFF?
The match will kick off at 20:00 Irish standard time.
The match is being played in Italy, meaning Liverpool will be the away side on the night. The Gewiss stadium will host the fixture.
WHERE TO WATCH?
RTE 2 will cover the fixture from 19:30 onwards for Irish viewers. Viewers can also catch up on highlights from the game – and the nights other fixtures – from 22:15 on Virgin Media 2.
BT Sport 2 will also be broadcasting the game for viewers with a BT Sport subscription. Viewers in America can also avail of the match through CBS All Access.