Vista Previa para Dortmund – Atalanta
Dortmund dropped out of the Champions League without winning a single game, and have something to prove to themselves and their fans in the Europa League. Atlanta finished top of their Europa League group without losing a single game, but did face Apollon of Cyprus and Premier League side Everton when they were going through a dreadful run of form. Dortmund are likely to prove a much tougher prospect over two legs as they have talent and experience in Europe, while Atalanta are treading new ground reaching the knockout stages. Balancing Europe with domestic responsibilities has proved tough for the Serie A club as they sit eighth in the table, but one thing they have remained consistent in is the Europa League and we’re expecting a very competitive 1st leg on Thursday.
These two sides have never met competitively before, but back in 2017 the pair did go head to head in Austria during pre-season. Atalanta just edged the game 1-0, but it was a mere fitness and match sharpness building opportunity for both clubs and the result mattered very little to either club. This time around we’re expecting goals to be scored at both ends as Dortmund have been fragile in Europe this season, while Atalanta have saved their best performances for the Europa League. The experience within the Dortmund squad will give them an advantage, and despite losing their top goalscorer Aubameyang to Arsenal, his replacement on-loan from Chelsea, Batshuayi, has slotted in seamlessly.
Heading into Thursday’s 1st leg in Germany its Atalanta who claim the title of form favourites after the Italian club picked up three wins, one draw, and two defeats from their last six matches. Dortmund have won two, drawn three and lost just the once during that same period of matches and should prove to be a much tougher opponent that either Everton or Lyon proved to be during the group stages for the Serie A side. Four of the German’s last six matches saw both sides score, while four of Atalanta’s group games also provided goals at both ends of the pitch.
Batshuayi has to be the man to watch on Thursday as he appear to have a new lease of life since moving to Dortmund and his confidence in front of goal is sky high following three goals in his first two matches for his new club. Gómez makes things tick for the visitors and he looks likely to miss the trip to Dortmund which could prove a huge blow for Atalanta, but Cristante is available and has scored three times in Europe this season.
We’re confident that both teams will score in this game as Atalanta have looked so good in Europe this season, while Dortmund have Batshuayi in red hot form since joining from Chelsea.