Friday, November 15, 2019

Prediction: Manchester City vs Atalanta

Verdict: Manchester City win and both teams to score

Best Odds: 13/10

Bookmaker: Bet365

Looking to extend on their unbeaten European run, Manchester City will welcome Serie A outfit Atalanta to the Etihad on Tuesday night.

Manchester City

Starting with the hosts, while the defending Premier League champions may have entered the international break with a shock 2-0 defeat against Wolves at the Etihad, Pep Guardiola saw his side make a much-needed return to winning ways over the weekend. Picking up their own 2-0 win away at a resurging Crystal Palace on Saturday evening, the former Barcelona boss has his sights firmly set on his squad extending their eye-catching start to their European campaign. Opening Group C with back-to-back victories over Dinamo Zagreb and Shakhtar Donetsk, it is no surprise that the Sky Blues are an overwhelming favorite to secure top-spot and a route to the knockout stage. Although City might be showing some inconsistencies since opening the 2019/2020 season, their European form on home soil has remained a constant. Tuesday’s hosts have won each of their last five Champions League matches at the Etihad and have bagged two or more goals in each of those victories.

Team News

Nicolas Otamendi and Kyle Walker will face late fitness tests after missing Saturday’s 2-0 win over Crystal Palace, while Leroy Sane and Aymeric Laporte remain sidelined. John Stones is also likely to make a return to City’s starting XI on Tuesday.

Atalanta

As for the visitors, although Atalanta may once again find themselves in the top four in Italy’s top-tier, it does not cover what has been a worryingly inconsistent run. Throwing away a three-goal lead at half-time against Lazio over the weekend, there is no doubt that Head Coach Gian Piero Gasperini will have a growing headache regarding his side’s continued struggles upon their Champions League debut. Once again throwing away another lead and watching Shakhtar Donetsk snatch a last-gasp 2-1 win at the Gewiss Stadium, I Nerazzurri have now suffered back-to-back defeats, including a humiliating 4-0 hammering against Dinamo Zagreb last month. If Atalanta are to pull off what would be a famous upset on Tuesday night, then Gasperini will be looking for the red-hot Duván Zapata to spearhead their charge. The 28-year-old has now scored four goals in his last four matches across all competitions.

Team News

Duvan Zapata faces a late fitness test after suffering a minor abductor strain while playing for Colombia.

Key Factors to Consider

  • This is the first meeting between the two sides.
  • Atalanta have lost both of their opening two Group C matchups, conceding six goals.
  • Tuesday’s hosts have won both of their opening Group C matchups, scoring five and recording back-to-back clean sheets.
  • Manchester City have won their last six Champions League matches at the Etihad.
  • Duván Zapata has scored four goals in his last four matches across all competitions.

Conclusion

Although Atalanta rightfully have a reputation for their form in the final third, it is hard to overlook their continued issues since marking their Champions League debut. With the defending Premier League champions seen to be a leading contender to lift their first European title come next summer, we’re backing the Sky Blues to extend on their 100% start on Tuesday night.

Verdict: Manchester City win and both teams to score

Best Odds: 13/10

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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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