Champion League, Matchday 4, Preview
UEFA Champions League

Atalanta BC face an uphill battle to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League after losing each of their first three group stage games in the competition.

The Serie A outfit next host reigning Premier League champions Manchester City, who have lost just twice all season. Atalanta qualified for the Champions League for the first time in their history last season in swashbuckling style, finishing third in Serie A ahead of both Milan and Rome-based clubs.

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Gian Piero Gasperini’s side also ended the campaign as the division’s top scorers, ahead of eventual champions Juventus and nearest challengers Napoli, netting 77 times in total.

Atalanta lost their last outing 2-0 against Cagliari, suffering their second domestic defeat of the campaign and slipping down to fifth in Serie A.

Giamperini’s side will not be looking forward to the visit of Pep Guardiola’s outfit, however, having already been beaten 5-1 at the Etihad Stadium in their last Champions League game.

City have bounced back from their 2-0 home defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers that saw them slip further behind Liverpool in this season’s Premier League title race, winning their subsequent five on the trot in all competitions.

That run includes back-to-back wins over Southampton, the latest of which came in the Premier League by a 2-1 scoreline after winning 3-1 against the same opponents in the EFL Cup.

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City have a perfect record in Europe so far this term, winning each of their three Champions League games to surge to the top of their group.

Guardiola’s side could open up a seven-point gap at the top of the group and confirm their qualification to the knockout stages as group winners if they beat Atalanta and Shakhtar Donetsk and Dinamo Zagreb draw with each other.

Source: Sports mole

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