Manchester United are back in the Champions League and after losing to Young Boys and just managing to beat Villarreal, it is now Atalanta’s turn to test Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side. After a 4-2 loss to Leicester last weekend, there will be a lot of pressure on the manager and the team, but they will be in real need of delivering on Wednesday night.
Manchester United will be without three players for this game. Raphael Varane, Anthony Martial and Amad Diallo are all injured, while the positive news for the Devils are that Aaron Wan-Bissaka returns to action after a one-match suspension for the red card against Young Boys. Harry Maguire should also be in the team and possibly Marcus Rashford, too. Fred and Edinson Cavani will be in contention after their late arrival from international duties.
Atalanta will be without some important players. The list includes Robin Gosens, Hans Hateboer, Matteo Pessina and Berat Djimsiti. Davide Zappacosta and Joakim Maehle should be in the team, so Atalanta will have to find their groove without the aforementioned quartet. Atalanta like playing in a 3-4-2-1 formation and that is something the Devils should pay close attention to. The Serie A outfit is very dangerous in transitions and they know how to occupy the spaces where they could hurt Man United, similarly to how Leicester managed to do on Saturday.
If we look at the last 30 days, including today, Manchester United have won just one match. The Red Devils have one win since 20 September and that one came in the dying minutes of their Champions League match against Villarreal. It was then that Cristiano Ronaldo was the hero in the stoppage time, but apart from that win, there were no other triumphs for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. In this past month, there were 1-0 losses at Old Trafford to West Ham and Aston Villa, there was a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford against Everton and then there was the recent 4-2 loss at Leicester City’s King Power Stadium. Man United are in truly poor form and they will be in real need of getting three points here, especially since they already had a negative surprise for their fans when they played Young Boys on the opening night of UEFA’s elite competition.
Atalanta, however, are improving after a not so ideal start of the season. Gian Piero Gasperini’s side is slowly getting into their usual rhythm. Since their run of three matches without a win in late August and first half of September, they won 1-0 at Salernitana, defeated Sasuolo 2-1, Young Boys 1-0 and Empoli 4-1, while only being stopped by the two Milan clubs – Inter (2-2 away from home) and AC Milan (2-3 at home). They are now sixth in Serie A, but with just a point less than the teams sitting in Champions League places and that race for them is just beginning.
Considering everything, this will be a very hard fought match. Our prediction is for both teams to score, but if we are looking for a final score, Man United and Atalanta could give us a great match and a 2-2 scoreline. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team really need to improve and their home performances recently have not been good.