Jürgen Klopp’s bid for a farewell treble continues on Thursday, with a potentially tricky UEFA Europa League quarter-final tie. We look ahead to the game with our Liverpool vs Atalanta prediction and preview.

Liverpool vs Atalanta Stats: The Quick Hits

  • Liverpool are firm favourites to put one foot in the UEFA Europa League semi-finals on Thursday, beating Atalanta in 64.1% of the Opta supercomputer’s pre-match simulations.
  • The Reds have scored 28 goals in eight Europa League games this term. In just two previous European campaigns have they scored 30 or more goals, in 2017-18 (41) and 2021-22 (30).
  • Atalanta’s last Europa League match against an English team was a 5-1 rout of Everton at Goodison Park in 2017. They are one of just three teams to have won at both Merseyside clubs in major European competition, alongside Benfica and Lyon.

Match Preview

The Premier League may be the trophy Liverpool fans want above all else, but the prospect of Jürgen Klopp’s final game at the helm being the UEFA Europa League final in Dublin on 22 May is an enticing one. The Reds’ next step towards what could be a 14th major European honour sees them face Atalanta in the quarter-finals, with La Dea hoping to spring a surprise in Thursday’s first leg at Anfield.

Liverpool could yet meet Bayer Leverkusen and Xabi Alonso – who will not be succeeding Klopp at the end of the campaign – in the Europa League final after the teams landed on opposite sides of the draw. The Reds have made serene progress through Europe’s secondary club competition this term, and will be confident of teeing up a semi-final meeting with either Benfica or Marseille.

Europa League Opta predictor 9 April

Liverpool have scored 28 goals in their eight Europa League games this season, with 11 of those coming as they dominated Sparta Prague in the round of 16. Only in two previous major European campaigns have the Reds hit the net 30 times, doing so in 2017-18 (41) and 2021-22 (30). Both of those runs ended with UEFA Champions League final heartbreak at the hands of Real Madrid.

Klopp’s side have also won four Europa League games by a margin of four or more goals this campaign – against Toulouse (5-1), LASK (4-0) and Sparta (5-1 and 6-1). In major European football history, only Benfica in 1964-65 have achieved that feat five times in one campaign.

While the Reds were twice on target in their entertaining draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford last Sunday, a lack of ruthlessness cost them as they failed to kill a game they dominated for long spells. Liverpool attempted 17 shots before United recorded their first – a brilliant long-range finish from Bruno Fernandes – before finding themselves 2-1 down to Kobbie Mainoo’s wondergoal.

However, Mohamed Salah converted a late penalty won by substitute Harvey Elliott to ensure Liverpool remained level on points with Arsenal at the Premier League summit.

Elliott could be promoted to the starting lineup on Thursday as Klopp manages his squad, and he has assisted four goals in his last two Europa League appearances. The only Englishman to assist five goals in a single campaign in the competition is Bukayo Saka, who did so in 2019-20 for Arsenal.

Liverpool would be wise not to take Atalanta lightly, though, with La Dea competing in their fifth major European quarter-final and their third in the last five seasons. Gian Piero Gasperini’s side have lost the last two of those ties, against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League in 2019-20 and RB Leipzig in the Europa League in 2021-22.

Atalanta came through a tough tie against Primeira Liga leaders Sporting CP by a 3-2 aggregate scoreline in the last 16. Gasperini’s men found themselves behind in the second leg at Gewiss Stadium, but second-half goals from Ademola Lookman and Gianluca Scamacca fired them into the last eight and extended their club-record unbeaten run in the Europa League to eight matches.

Attacking midfielder Aleksey Miranchuk assisted both of Atalanta’s goals in that match, with his four Europa League assists for the season matching his previous best return in the competition, which came with Lokomotiv Moscow in 2017-18.

He is one of only four players to assist four or more goals in a Europa League campaign for two different clubs, alongside Juan Mata (Chelsea and Manchester United), Lior Refaelov (Royal Antwerp and Club Brugge) and Mesut Özil (Werder Bremen and Arsenal).

La Dea followed that victory with an impressive 3-0 dismantling of Scudetto holders Napoli but were then beaten 2-1 by Cagliari in their last Serie A outing on Saturday, a result which leaves them five points adrift of fifth-placed Roma.

Italy defender Giorgio Scalvini – who has been linked with Man Utd among other clubs – will miss Thursday’s game with a muscle injury, while Liverpool are unlikely to risk returning stars Trent Alexander-Arnold and Diogo Jota.

Liverpool vs Atalanta Head-to-Head

Thursday’s match will be the third between Liverpool and Atalanta in major European competition, after the teams were drawn together in the Champions League group stage in 2020-21.

Both of those fixtures – which were played behind closed doors – ended in away wins, with Liverpool claiming a dominant 5-0 victory in Bergamo before Atalanta triumphed 2-0 at Anfield, with Josip Iličić and Robin Gosens on target.

Atalanta’s last Europa League match against English opponents, meanwhile, was a 5-1 rout of Everton – who were led by caretaker boss David Unsworth – at Goodison Park in November 2017.

La Dea are one of just three teams to record away wins over both Merseyside clubs in major European competitions, alongside Benfica and Lyon.

Recent Form

Liverpool are unbeaten in 90 minutes across their last 13 matches in all competitions, winning 10 and drawing three, though one of those ended in a 4-3 extra-time defeat to Manchester United in the FA Cup last month.

The Reds have won three in a row at home since drawing 1-1 with Manchester City last month. Their last competitive defeat at Anfield came 34 games ago, a chastening 5-2 loss to Real Madrid in the Champions League round of 16 last February.

Liverpool 2-5 Real Madrid UCL February 2023

Overall, they have lost just one of their 25 home matches in the Europa League (19 wins, five draws), going down 3-2 to Udinese in October 2012. The Reds have won nine in a row at Anfield in the Europa League, with Ajax the last side to post 10 successive home victories in the competition, doing so between 2016 and 2021.

Atalanta, meanwhile, have only won one of their last seven away matches across all competitions (three draws, three defeats), having gone unbeaten through their first three road trips of 2024 (two wins, one draw).

Opta Power Rankings

The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.

Ahead of kick-off on Thursday night, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.

Liverpool vs Atalanta Prediction

For Atalanta, the goal must simply be to stay in the tie ahead of next week’s second leg, with Liverpool firm favourites to take control on home soil.

Of 10,000 match simulations conducted by the Opta supercomputer ahead of kick-off, the hosts won 64.1%. Atalanta were victorious in just 17.5% of scenarios, with the chances of a draw rated at 18.4%.

Liverpool vs Atalanta Prediction Opta

Liverpool vs Atalanta Europa League Squads

Liverpool: Alisson, Adrián, Caoimhin Kelleher, Vitezslav Jaroš, Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konaté, Jarell Quansah, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Conor Bradley, Andrew Robertson, Kostas Tsimikas, Wataru Endo, Thiago Alcántara, Dominik Szoboszlai, Alexis Mac Allister, Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott, Ryan Gravenberch, Bobby Clark, Luis Díaz, Darwin Núñez, Mohamed Salah, Cody Gakpo, Diogo Jota, Ben Doak.

Head Coach: Jürgen Klopp

Atalanta: Juan Musso, Marco Carnesecchi, Francesco Rossi, Rafael Tolói, Emil Holm, Isak Hien, Berat Gjimshiti, Mitchel Bakker, Sead Kolašinac, Giorgio Scalvini, Davide Zappacosta, Teun Koopmeiners, Mario Pašalić, Éderson, Marten de Roon, Michel Adopo, El Bilal Toure, Ademola Lookman, Charles De Ketelaere, Aleksei Miranchuk, Gianluca Scamacca.

Head Coach: Gian Piero Gasperini

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