Atalanta and Paris Saint-Germain are set to lock horns at Lisbon’s Estadio da Luz in the first fixture of the Champions League quarter-final stage on Wednesday evening.
Due to the circumstances surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, the rest of the fixtures in the elite European competition will take place in a mini-tournament format, with one-legged fixtures replacing the customary two, thereby setting the stage for irreversible upsets and the possibility of an entirely new name being etched on the trophy.
Thomas Tuchel’s side claimed all four domestic honours the current season had to offer- Ligue 1, Trophee des Champions, Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue- and are now aiming to win their first-ever Champions League title to register a complete sweep of trophies.
Meanwhile, Gian Piero Gasperini’s men, who finished third in Serie A, are competing in the tournament for the first time and are the surprise flag bearers of Italian football in Europe. They will be looking to make the most out of their fairy-tale run by commanding an upset at the Portuguese capital this midweek.
Atalanta vs PSG: The road to the quarter-finals
September 18, 2019: Dinamo Zagreb 4-0 Atalanta
October 1, 2019: Atalanta 1-2 Shakhtar Donetsk
October 22, 2019: Manchester City 5-1 Atalanta
November 6, 2019: Atalanta 1-1 Manchester City
November 26, 2019: Atalanta 2-0 Dinamo Zagreb
December 11, 2019: Shakhtar Donetsk 0-3 Atalanta
February 19, 2020: Atalanta 4-1 Valencia
March 10, 2020: Valencia 3-4 Atalanta
September 18, 2019: PSG 3-0 Real Madrid
October 1, 2019: Galatasaray 0-1 PSG
October 22, 2019: Club Brugge 0-5 PSG
November 6, 2019: PSG 1-0 Club Brugge
November 26, 2019: Real Madrid 2-2 PSG
December 11, 2019: PSG 5-0 Galatasaray
February 18, 2020: Borussia Dortmund 2-1 PSG
March 11, 2020: PSG 2-0 Borussia Dortmund
Atalanta vs PSG: Head-to-head record
N/A (Wednesday night’s fixture will be the first-ever meeting between Atalanta and PSG)
Atalanta vs PSG: Recent form
Atalanta recent form (in all competitions): W-D-W-D-W-L
PSG recent form (in all competitions): W-W-W-W-W-W
Atalanta vs PSG: Team news
Personal reasons have ruled out Atalanta‘s top scorer Josip Ilicic from Wednesday’s much-awaited clash. The Slovenia international, who scored 21 goals in 34 games, has not featured for Gian Piero Gasperini’s side since their 2-2 draw with Serie A champions Juventus on July 11.
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini has been ruled out with an injury and will likely be replaced by Marco Sportiello.
Defender Jose Luis Palomino, who picked up an adductor injury in Atalanta’s match against Parma last month, missed the succeeding Serie A clash against Inter Milan but might just be fit enough to return against PSG.
Injured: Josip Ilicic, Pierluigi Gollini
Doubtful: Jose Luis Palomino
Thomas Tuchel will likely be without the services of Marco Verratti after the midfielder picked up a calf injury during a mid-week training session. Layvin Kurzawa and Thilo Kehrer are also expected to be absent from the fixture while Angel Di Maria will miss out on the clash due to suspension.
The biggest worry for PSG will, however, be Kylian Mbappe‘s fitness. The Frenchman sustained an ankle injury in the Coupe de France final against Saint-Etienne last month, with early reports suggesting that he would be out for three weeks.
The 21-year-old ace was spotted training over the weekend so it remains to be seen whether he will be fit enough for Wednesday night’s clash.
Injured: Layvin Kurzawa, Thilo Kehrer, Marco Verratti
Doubtful: Kylian Mbappe
Suspended: Angel Di Maria
Atalanta vs PSG: Predicted XI
Atalanta predicted XI (3-4-1-2): Pierluigi Gollini, Rafael Toloi, Jose Luis Palomino, Berat Djimsiti, Timothy Castagne, Marten de Roon, Remo Freuler, Robin Gosens, Mario Pasalic, Alejandro Gomez, Duvan Zapata
PSG predicted XI (4-4-2): Keylor Navas, Thilo Kehrer, Thiago Silva, Presnel Kimpembe, Juan Bernat, Idrissa Gueye, Marquinhos, Ander Herrera, Neymar, Mauro Icardi, Pablo Sarabia
Atalanta vs PSG: Where to watch
India: Sony Ten 2/Sony Ten 2 HD
UK: BT Sport 1 and BT Sport Ultimate
Atalanta vs PSG live stream details
India: Sony Network’s SonyLiv app
UK: BT Sport app
Atalanta vs PSG: Start timing, venue and more
Atalanta vs PSG: Timing
India: 12.30 AM (Thursday)
UK: 8 PM (Wednesday)
Atalanta vs PSG: Venue
Estádio da Luz, Lisbon (Portugal)
Atalanta vs PSG: Referee
Anthony Taylor (England)
Atalanta vs PSG: Prediction
Wednesday’s encounter promises to be an hour of high-octane attacking football as a soaring Atalanta side will attempt to outscore their Parisien opponents to secure a semi-final berth.
La Dea scored a staggering 98 goals in Serie A this season, and the numbers alone are enough to unsettle PSG. However, Gian Piero Gasperini will not have leading marksman Josip Ilicic to count on and will also be wary of the way his players have been conceding goals in their previous Champions League games.
Their tendency to move forward during games could potentially backfire against them especially as PSG boast an equally, if not more dangerous, attacking unit which is spearheaded by an in-form Neymar.
Even without Kylian Mbappe, who is likely to start on the bench, it would be a mistake to overlook the immense attacking resources Thomas Tuchel has at his disposal.
The Ligue 1 champions netted 75 goals in 27 games in the French top-flight before the season prematurely ended and will be aiming to continue their scintillating form against Atalanta as they try to reach the semi-final stage of the tournament for the first time since the 1994-95 season.
Each side is capable of scoring a litany of goals, and the encounter could end either way, especially considering the single-legged nature of the fixture.
Atalanta vs PSG final verdict: 1-2
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