Liverpool v Atalanta – Europa League Quarter-Final preview 

Two English clubs are left in this season’s Europa League. Last season’s Conference League winners West Ham face a tough test against Bundesliga leaders and unbeaten Bayer Leverkusen, meanwhile Liverpool face Serie A side Atalanta. 

Liverpool v Atalanta – Quarter-final first leg

Liverpool are rampant at Anfield this season and host the first leg where they will be keen to stamp their authority on the tie, before travelling to Bergamo. Jurgen Klopp’s side will want to put the frantic weekend draw game at Manchester United behind them, in what could be Klopp’s final European night at Anfield if it goes wrong.

Atalanta got the better of Ruben Amorim’s Sporting Lisbon, who has been heavily linked to replace Klopp next season, in the last round. Atalanta are sixth in Serie A, and are seeking to qualify for European football once again under Gian Piero Gasperini.

Atalanta have some recognisable figures in their squad including former Arsenal fullback Sead Kolasinac, Dutch stars Tuen Koopmeiners and Marten de Roon as well as former Everton, Fulham and Leicester forward Ademola Lookman. The Italian side have lost their last two games in all competitions including their Coppa Italia semi-final against Fiorentina. Defender Giorgio Scalvini is still out injured, and will not feature.

These two sides were paired in the 2020/21 Champions League group stages, and Diogo Jota bagged a hat-trick in a 5-0 win in Italy. Atalanta won the reverse fixture 2-0 at Anfield.

The big games are coming thick and fast for Liverpool as they continue to fight for a second Premier League trophy. The Europa League still means an awful lot though, a competition they came runners up in against Sevilla in 2016. Liverpool are almost nailed on to qualify for next season’s Champions League, but Klopp will want to go out with another European trophy under his belt.

Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez and Luis Diaz are all expected to be fit to start as Klopp looks to make the most of his first leg home advantage.

Liverpool are clear favourites, but they have been involved in many dramatic ties in Europe down the years. Liverpool hit eleven goals over two legs in the last round against Sparta Prague, with goals coming from all over the pitch. In their day, the Reds are unstoppable and have scored 22 goals in their last seven games in all competitions.     

Atalanta will have to defend well, and if they are successful in frustrating Liverpool, there may be chances on the break. It promises to be an exciting quarter-final.

1st Leg Prediction: 3-1 

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