Sunday, December 5, 2021

Prediction: Manchester United vs Atalanta

Verdict: Atalanta double chance

Best Odds: 11/10

Bookmaker: Unibet

Desperately seeking some kind of boost when they turn their attention back to European duties, Manchester United will welcome Atalanta to Old Trafford on Wednesday night.

Manchester United

Starting with the hosts, marking their return from October’s international break with another hugely worrying display, Manchester United find themselves in the midst of an extended struggle. Throwing away the lead against Leicester on the road and eventually hit with a 4-2 drumming at the King Power, there remains a huge amount of pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s shoulders. A side that is only showing a host of issues and appearing miles off mounting any kind of serious charge for the Premier League title, the Reds have now won just one of their last five matchups across all competitions. With that sole victory coming thanks to a hugely flattering 2-1 victory against Villarreal last month, United have continued to gain a reputation for their problems at the back. Shipping four against the Foxes last time out, Solskjaer’s downbeat squad have remarkably recorded just a single clean sheet since opening the 2021/22 campaign. Likewise, including defeats against West Ham and Aston Villa, it should be noted that Wednesday’s hosts have won just one of their previous four contests at Old Trafford.

Team News

Manchester United have already confirmed that they will once again be without the trio of Raphael Varane, Amad Diallo and Anthony Martial on Wednesday night.

However, after returning late from international duty, both Fred and Edinson Cavani will make their return.

Atalanta

As for the visitors, while Atalanta would have been hugely disappointed to have entered the international break with that action-packed 3-2 defeat against AC Milan on home soil, the Italian outfit managed to prove that was just a minor blip. Marking their return over the weekend with a rampant display away at Empoli, La Dea stormed their way to a 4-1 victory, and the mood in their camp should be at a real high. With Head Coach Gian Piero Gasperini making it clear that he is calling for his side to find some stability, Wednesday’s guests have enjoyed an eye-catching start to their European adventure. Last seen on Champions League duties picking up a 1-0 win against Young Boys on September 29th, Atalanta have mustered four points from their first two Group F matchups. Making the trip to Old Trafford on Wednesday night currently topping the table, there is no doubt that Gasperini’s free-scoring squad will be looking to lay down a real marker on foreign soil in midweek.

Team News

Atalanta will be without the duo of Hans Hateboer and Robin Gosens on their trip to Old Trafford on Wednesday night.

Likewise, both Matteo Pessina and Berat Djimsiti are not expected to feature.

Key Factors to Consider

    • Including a 4-2 defeat against Leicester last weekend, Manchester United have won just one of their last five matchups across all formats.
    • Likewise, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have managed to win just one of their last four contests at Old Trafford.
    • Atalanta have lost just one of their previous seven matchups across all formats, a run that stems back to September 11th.
    • Wednesday’s hosts have recorded just a single clean sheet across any competition since opening the 2021/22 campaign.
    • Four of La Dea’s last five matchups have finished with both teams finding the net.

    Conclusion

    While Manchester United might open Wednesday’s meeting as a standout pick, Atalanta could be fancying their chances of springing a real upset on foreign soil. Marking their return from October’s international break with a thumping 4-1 win away at Empoli, La Dea will be looking to cash in on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s downbeat squad. Blown away at the King Power last weekend and hit with a dreadful 4-2 defeat against Leicester, the English heavyweights find themselves in the midst of a real struggle. With just a single win from any of their last five matchups across all formats, it should also be noted that they have managed to win just one of their last four contests at Old Trafford. With Atalanta opening this year’s Champions League run with four points to their name, an away double chance appears at attractive odds.

    Verdict: Atalanta double chance

    Best Odds: 11/10

    Bookmaker: Unibet

    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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