Match Preview: Liverpool vs Atalanta
Date & time: November 25th, 2020 - 8pm
Is it on: BT Sport
Ref: Carlos del Cerro Grande (ESP)
A win at Anfield tonight would all but guarantee the Reds their spot in the 1st Round knockout stage of this season's Champions League.
A potentially tricky group has, so far, been navigated relatively easily Liverpool. Winning all three games so far, without conceding a single goal.
Atalanta, our opponents prior to the break, were put to the sword 5-nil in their own back yard. It is not a result that they will want a repeat of.
But after comfortably beating Leicester with almost 10 first team players out on Sunday, anything seems possible for this team right now.
Atalanta come into the game on the back of two draws, most recently a 0-0 away to mid-table Spezia. They have won just one of their last five league games.
It would be foolish to take them lightly though. We all witnessed what their counter-attacking football was capable of last season and Liverpool won't be going into the game thinking it's already won.
Injuries & Suspension
Liverpool are still without the services of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Virgil Van Dijk, Xherdan Shaqiri and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. With Naby Keita adding his name to that list once again.
Jordan Henderson and Thiago didn't train on Tuesday either, so neither will feature. But there's a chance they could be available for Saturday away to Brighton.
Mo Salah will thankfully return, after receiving the all clear over the weekend and I'd expect him to slot straight back into the attack tonight.
Atalanta are still to be without Mattia Caldara, whilst Ruslan Malinovskyi and Fabio Depaoli are both recent losses for the Italian side.
Last 5 games:
Liverpool (all comps): W-W-W-D-W
Atalanta (all comps): D-W-L-D-D
Predicted Line up
I'd expect a few changes tonight, in light of ridiculously early kick off on Saturday am. It would be nice not to force Fabinho through three consecutive games right now, but needs must.
Having said that, I expect him to be restored to midfield tonight, alongside the ever-reliable Gini Wijnaldum, with Klopp opting to try out that 4-2-3-1 system once again, whilst young Rhys Williams gets another shot at centre back alongside Joel.
Predicted starting XI: Alisson, Milner, R. Williams, Matip, Tsimikas; Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Mane, Firmino, Salah, Jota.