Liverpool vs Atalanta preview, team news, tickets & prediction
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Liverpool vs Atalanta preview, team news, tickets & prediction

Liverpool take on Atalanta in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League quarter-final tie which promises to be an attacking spectacle.

Atalanta travel to England to face Liverpool in the cauldron-like atmosphere of Anfield for a tantalising European knockout tie. Whoever progresses is guaranteed a place against Benfica or Marseille in the semi-final. 

Their only previous matchup in European competitions was in the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League group stage, when both teams secured away wins. Liverpool won 5-0 in Italy in the first meeting but were dealt a 2-0 loss at Anfield in the return fixture.

The Reds are favourites to win the Europa League and Jurgen Klopp’s side are still in the running for three trophies in his final season. 

Liverpool sit second in the Premier League table, behind leaders Arsenal on goal difference. Klopp’s side have lost just twice in the league all season, at Tottenham and Arsenal, and are embroiled in a three-way race for the title with the north London leaders and Manchester City.

 

Having won the Carabao Cup last month, the Reds suffered a setback with a 4-3 defeat to Manchester United in the FA Cup sixth round before the international break. A chaotic clash saw Erik ten Hag’s team progress with a 120th minute winner in extra time.

In Europe, Liverpool progressed from their Europa League group as winners before thrashing Sparta Prague 11-2 on aggregate in the Round of 16.

Atalanta will pose a strong challenge in the next round but the Premier League side have their sights set on bigger achievements.

The Italians European pedigree has been built recently in one of the best spells in their history, but Gian Piero Gasperini’s side will be full of belief as they have nothing to lose from this tie. 

Victory on their only previous visit to Anfield during the COVID-19 pandemic was one of their best-ever results. Crucially, those three points went a long way in securing their place in the Champions League’s Round of 16.

Things didn’t get off to the best of starts in the Serie A this season but Atalanta grabbed two wins and a draw from the opening three Europa League matches. They completed the first round top of Group D with four wins and two draws to set them up for a knockout tie against Sporting Lisbon.

The first leg of that encounter ended 1-1 in Portugal before Gasperini’s charges completed a sensational comeback to win 2-1 in front of their fans. 

Domestically, Atalanta are four points behind fifth-placed Roma with a game in hand and their European adventures could spur a fantastic end to the season. Liverpool are expected to advance but the Black and Blues will not be making it any less intriguing from start to finish. 

Atalanta are well aware that Klopp’s men don’t lose too many games so they must be at their imperious best to stand a chance at an unlikely giant-killing. 

Match tickets

This UEFA Europa League quarter-final takes place on Thursday, 11 April 2024 with kick-off scheduled for 8PM UK time. Match tickets are available for sale on the website of both clubs with allocation guaranteed for only season ticket holders and registered, eligible members.

Anfield will be loud and proud of what they hope doesn’t turn out to be Jurgen Klopp’s last European home game as Liverpool boss. The demand for tickets is indeed very high for what is sure to be a sold-out match.

Official ticket sale points are overwhelming and if you want to be one of the 60,000 to be in attendance, you may be lucky enough to grab your Liverpool vs Atalanta tickets on a ticket resale site.    

Team news

Darwin Nunez suffered a potential hamstring injury against Manchester United to rejoin an ever-growing Liverpool injury list that includes Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alisson Becker, Diogo Jota, Curtis Jones, Ibrahim Konate, Thiago Alcantara, Stefano Bajcetic, Joel Matip and Ben Doak.

La Dea have a clean bill of health which they will hope remains the same when this match comes up.

Line-ups

Regardless of the big absences due to injury, Liverpool’s selection will be full of quality and hard to beat at Anfield.

The fitness of Mohamed Salah is of utmost importance as they enter the business end of the campaign and the Egyptian marked his first start since returning from a hamstring issue with a goal against Manchester United before the international break.

Liverpool: Kelleher; Gomez, Quansah, Van Dijk, Robertson; Endo, Szoboszlai, Mac Allister; Salah, Gakpo, Diaz

Atalanta are likely to go with their tried and trusted back-three system that is brimming with attacking threats. The visitors must be disciplined and mentally locked in to face the challenges that the Anfield crowd presents. 

Teun Koopmeiners – who has scored 10 league goals this season and has been linked with Liverpool – could start in midfield for the Italian outfit. Former Everton winger Ademola Lookman is also a part of the Atalanta squad.

Atalanta: Musso; Djimsiti, Hien, Kolasinac; Holm, Ederson, de Roon, Bakker; Koopmeiners, Lookman, Scamacca

Prediction

Liverpool are favourites to progress yet this game is key to continuing that winning feeling as they aim to go all the way. With the home support in full voice, the Reds will look to hassle their opponents off the ball and hit them with high intensity.

The visitors must do well to weather the early storm, but you wouldn’t begrudge them if they are also overwhelmed by this unique atmosphere. 

Liverpool 3-1 Atalanta

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