21st of February 2018 Author: Johnny Karp
After a spectacular first leg, Atalanta host Borussia Dortmund on Thursday in the second leg of their UEFA Europa League first knockout round tie. Last week Borussia Dortmund won the first leg 3-2 but it was quite a ride as Atalanta fought back from 1-0 down to lead 2-1 before new signing Michy Batshuayi scored twice for the home side. That was the first ever direct match between these two sides. Borussia Dortmund have lost nine of their fourteen away matches against Italian teams in European competitions.
Atalanta are enjoying their first European season after a long drought, they have done a great job in the group stage and now they have a really good chance of qualifying again. Last weekend they were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Fiorentina in Serie A and dropped to eighth place, but they are still in the race for a top-six spot. Head coach Gian Piero Gasperini chose to rest a few important players against Fiorentina, so he will field a full-strength side on Thursday as there are no injury worries or suspensions in the squad.
Borussia Dortmund did very well to fight back from 2-1 down but they can count themselves quite lucky to have won the first leg. That was their fourth consecutive victory in all competitions and their seven match without defeat, Last weekend they secured a 1-0 victory at Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga to keep their second place behind runaway leaders Bayern Munich. Julian Weigl is suspended after having picked up a yellow card in the first leg, while seven other players in the squad are injured.
Atalanta: Berisha - Toloi, Caldara, Masiello - Hateboer, Roon, Freuler, Spinazzola - Cristante - Gomez, Ilicic
Dortmund: Burki - Piszczek, Sokratis, Toprak, Toljan - Castro, Dahoud - Pulisic, Reus, Schurrle - Batshuayi
My prediction: Atalanta to win 2-1.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
Atalanta win - 2.39
Draw - 3.75
Dortmund win - 2.89
21st of February 2018
14th of February 2018
I think Atalanta missed a really good chance to get the scalp of one of the European top sides(at least on paper) but they allowed both matches late goals which were really a killer for the Italians.
Dortmund should be beter in the next EL games if they wish to play at the later stages of the tournament.
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