Preview: Liverpool vs Atalanta – Team News, Lineups & Prediction

A mammoth task awaits Atalanta in the Europa League quarter-finals as they head to Anfield to take on Liverpool in the first leg on Thursday. It’s been almost four years since the sides last shared the stage on the European front. 

Liverpool and Atalanta were in the same Champions League group in 2020/21. After a thumping 5-0 defeat at the Gewiss Stadium, La Dea repaid the favor on Merseyside, claiming a 2-0 win courtesy of second-half goals from Josip Ilicic and Robin Gosens. 

That loss might have stayed embedded in Liverpool’s minds, considering they’ve since gone on a tear in European matches on home turf. Jurgen Klopp’s troops have since won 12 of their 16 continental outings at Anfield (D2, L2), including a 6-1 demolition of Sparta Praha in the last Europa League knockout round. 

Klopp’s unforgiving charges racked up their biggest European aggregate win for over four decades when beating Sparta 11-2 in the round of 16 and will be confident of overcoming Atalanta. However, Gian Piero Gasperini’s men are no tourists, as evidenced by a 3-2 aggregate triumph against Sporting CP in the last 16.

Unfortunately, Atalanta’s form has taken a downturn in the build-up to this trip. After a 1-0 loss at Fiorentina in the first leg of their Coppa Italia semi-final tie, La Dea wasted a narrow lead in a 2-1 Serie A defeat at Cagliari over the weekend. 

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It’s up to Klopp to set his priorities straight in his swansong season at Liverpool. As the Reds remain firmly embroiled in a three-way title race in the Premier League, the German would be forgiven for sacrificing his European aspirations to bolster the Merseyside giants’ title bid in the world’s toughest division. 

A goal-glutted 2-2 draw at Manchester United on Sunday threw a spanner in the works, but Liverpool are a different beast at Anfield. In 24 competitive home games in 2023/24, they have claimed 21 wins (D3), including four multi-goal margin triumphs on the continental front. The Reds intimidatingly averaged 4.25 goals per game in those four victories.


Teun Koopmeiners may see this fixture as an audition after landing on Liverpool’s shortlist for the upcoming transfer window. Atalanta will need their talismanic midfielder at his best to uphold their outstanding Europa League record of just three defeats from 28 matches (W16, D9), all of which came during Gasperini’s reign. 

Atalanta have been particularly impressive this season, progressing from the group stages unscathed (W4, D2) before squeezing past Sporting in the round of 16. Equally impressive on their travels, the Italians have lost just two of their last 17 away games in Europe (W8, D7). These are all the indicators La Dea will not go down without a fight. 

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Liverpool’s sizeable injury list should give Atalanta a fighting chance. Klopp can’t count on the likes of Alisson, Diogo Jota, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Thiago Alcantara, and Joel Matip. But La Dea will still have to deal with the Reds’ tremendous firepower, spearheaded by Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz. 

On the other hand, Giorgio Scalvini is not in contention for this contest due to a hamstring problem. But the remainder of Atalanta’s squad is fit and ready for this trip. Charles De Ketelaere is back after shaking off an adductor injury, though he’ll likely start on the bench. Ademola Lookman and Gianluca Scamacca will probably lead the line. 

Liverpool vs Atalanta Potential Lineups

Liverpool (4-3-3): Caoimhin Kelleher; Joe Gomez, Ibrahima Konate, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson; Dominik Szoboszlai, Wataru Endo, Alexis Mac Allister; Mohamed Salah, Cody Gakpo, Luis Diaz.

Atalanta (3-4-1-2): Juan Musso; Rafael Toloi, Berat Djimsiti, Sead Kolasinac; Davide Zappacosta, Ederson, Marten De Roon, Matteo Ruggeri; Teun Koopmeiners; Ademola Lookman, Gianluca Scamacca.

Liverpool vs Atalanta Prediction

Since only one of Liverpool’s 17 home encounters against Italian sides has ended as a draw (W10, L6), Atalanta’s hopes of securing a stalemate are seemingly off the menu. Avoiding a catastrophe in England would increase the Italians’ chances of pulling off an upset.

But we believe Liverpool will win this game by a multiple-goal margin, though Atalanta would probably get on the scoresheet. 

Prediction: Liverpool Win

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