Another week of UEFA Champions League action is about to kick off this Wednesday, November 6th, when Italian newcomers Atalanta, hosts English Premier League defending champions Manchester City FC in a matchday 4 Group C Fixture.
This match is the reverse fixture of the match that was played two weeks ago when a rampant City side hammered the Italians 5-1 at the Etihad.
The Bergamo based side will be hoping they can put behind them the away loss and grab a surprise victory over their illustrious opponents. Atalanta, however, are going into this fixture with a very unflattering run of form, having lost all their previous games in Group C that has left them on the brink of elimination from the Champions League.
The Orobici also go into this game with a lousy defensive record conceding an alarming 11 goals from 3 matches, which would have a free-scoring City rubbing their hands in anticipation. The attack as well hasn’t been great and will have to do better than the two goals they have scored so far in Europe if they should stand a chance of getting a positive result against the Mancunians.
Coach Gian Piero Gasperini will be hoping his players can ginger themselves up and start posting credible performances he knows his side are capable of. He will expectantly be looking for a positive reaction from his team as they attempt to avoid early elimination.
Atalanta will be playing the match at the San Siro, the home ground of AC Milan and FC Internazionale Milano due to the unsuitability of their own stadium for European competition. The ‘’home team’’ will have to find a way to navigate this seeming disadvantage. Coach Gasperini is still without injured forward Duvan Zapata, so he will have to rely on Slovenian Josep Ilicic to lead the line as Atalanta attempts to pick up their first points of the European campaign.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, however, go into this match full of confidence. Last season’s quarter finalists are comfortably seating at the top of Group C and are odds on favourites to secure an away win and book their passage into the next round of the Champions League.
Manchester City will be missing David Silva, who picked up an injury during a domestic league match last weekend. This will offer little comfort for the home side who will still have to contend with Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne, and Raheem Sterling, who scored a hattrick against them in the last fixture.
It will be interesting to see how Atalanta gets on when the match kicks off at 9 PM on Wednesday evening.
The game between Atalanta and Man City is pegged at 1.91 to finish with over 3.5 goals, a possible finish of below 3.5 goals is given odds of 1.99
Written by: Ayotunde Omolayole