Saturday, March 24, 2018

Prediction: Atalanta vs Borussia Dortmund

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 1/2

Bookmaker: Bet365

With Michy Batshuayi snatching a last-gasp winner at the Westfalenstadion last week, Peter Stoger’s Borussia Dortmund side will travel to Atalanta with the smallest of advantages in their Europa League last 32-second leg.


For the hosts on Thursday night, although Gian Piero Gasperini’s Atalanta side came away from the Westfalenstadion empty-handed last week, the Serie A side put on a valiant effort and will be hopeful of putting on a similar display at home. Currently sat eight in the league, it has been in Europe where Atlanta have saved their best performances. Finishing top of Group E, the Italian side scored 16 goals in their last seven games in the competition. Atalanta will be reliant on the form of Slovenia striker Josip Ilicic who hit both of the Italians’ goals in the first leg and boasts 11 goals and eight assists in all competitions this season.

Team News

Atalanta are near enough full-strength with their only absentee being midfielder Luca Rizzo, while Rafael Toloi will be available, despite being suspended for domestic competition.

Borussia Dortmund

Traveling to Italy coming off the back of a 1-0 win away at Borussia Mönchengladbach last weekend, Peter Stoger’s Borussia Dortmund side have extended their fine run of form and find their confidence at a seasons high. Dortmund are now unbeaten in their last nine matches in all competitions, including winning their last four matches on the bounce. Climbing up to second in the Bundesliga table, although BVB might be 19 points adrift of runaway league leaders Bayern Munich, Stoger’s team will be confident of securing Champions League football come the end of the season. Despite trailing Atalanta 2-1 in their first leg tie last week, inform Chelsea loanee Michy Batshuayi pulled scored two late goals to give the Yellow and Blacks a vital lead on Thursday night.

Team News

Dortmund will be without a host of players, with Julian Weigl suspended for the match, after picking up his third booking in Europe in the first leg.

Meanwhile, BVB will be missing the likes of Jadon Sancho, Shinji Kagawa and Max Philipp due to injury.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Reus’ goal in the 1-0 win over Gladbach on Sunday was his first for BVB since bagging a brace in the 4-3 win over Werder Bremen on the final day of last season.
  • Batshuayi has scored five times and assisted once in all competitions since swapping Chelsea for Dortmund in the winter transfer window. The Belgium striker has had a direct hand in a goal every hour he has played so far.
  • Both teams have scored in five of Atalanta’s last six matches in this competition.
  • The hosts have won just one of their last five in all competitions.
  • Since Stöger replaced Bosz as coach, Dortmund have only lost one of their 10 competitive games in all competitions


Much like their first leg encounter last week, on paper, it looks to be a game that will produce chances for both sides. With their first leg matchup finishing with five goals, both sides combined have only failed to find the net twice in their last 50 appearances. For Atalanta, although the hosts have struggled with results recently, the Blues have put on a string of strong performances and have now seen both teams score in five of their last six matches.

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 1/2

Bookmaker: Bet365


Tom Dunstan

Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan



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