Champions League: Atalanta on the field against Shakhtar to redeem himself in Europe

After the heavy defeat suffered in the first round of this group stage, the Gasperini boys meet Shakhtar to try to conquer three fundamental points

Eight goals in three official matches were Atalanta’s response to the 4-0 defeat by Dinamo Zagreb in the Group C opening match in the Champions League. That was only the second time in 15 official matches that Atalanta failed to score. Furthermore, this sequence saw her score at least two goals in 12 games, with almost half of them (seven out of 15) having seen more than 3.5 total goals.

However, the last three European matches of Atalanta (including qualifying rounds) have seen draws. Moreover, in six of the last ten official matches played at San Siro (the ‘home’ of the Orobici for Champions League matches), Atalanta failed to score. In addition, eight games in this sequence saw less than 2.5 total goals.

Shakhtar also started his Champions League campaign with a home defeat against Manchester City, suffering four defeats in eight games (1 win, 3 draws, 4 defeats). Things get worse on the road, with eight defeats in Shakhtar’s last 11 away games in the Champions League (2 wins, 1 draw, 8 defeats). Furthermore, Shakhtar failed to score in eight games during this sequence.

The visiting team does not like to play in Italy, having lost eight of their 11 away games (1 win, 2 draws, 8 defeats). The only victory dates back to February 2011 (against Roma), and Shakhtar has conceded nine goals over three trips to San Siro (1 draw, 2 defeats).
Players to watch: Papu Gómez (ATA) has two goals and three assists in seven official games this season, while Júnior Moraes (SHA) has eight goals in 11 official games this season, with the last four having arrived after hour of play.

Statistics: eight of Atalanta’s nine goals this season have arrived in the last half hour of play.
Shakhtar has not kept the clean sheet in a Champions League away match since August 2015, suffering at least two goals in eight of the 11 away games since; and also suffered 30 goals in his 11 trips to Italy, suffering more than 1.5 goals in eight of them.

Probable teams

ATALANTA (3-4-1-2): Gollini; Toloi, Kjaer, Masiello; Castagne, De Roon, Freuler, Gosens; Gomez; Ilicic, Zapata.

SHAKHTAR DONETSK (4-2-3-1): Pyatov; Bolbat, Kyvtsov, Matviyenko, Ismaily; Alan Patrick, Stepanenko; Marlos, Taison, Solomon; Moraes. 

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