Atalanta vs Manchester United Preview

A chance for United to extend their lead in Group F?

Manchester United travel to Atalanta in Matchday 4 of the Champions League. United are in brighter spirits following their clinical 0-3 win over Tottenham on Saturday. Atalanta saved a point on Saturday as Marten de Roon scored in the 94th minute equaliser against Lazio. Atalanta are in dire home form and haven’t won in their own stadium since the end of September. With a tricky November fixture list beginning in Italy, United have to win here and build momentum ahead of the Manchester Derby. Here’s all you need to know:

Match Information:

Teams: Atalanta and Manchester United
Date: Tuesday 2nd November 2021
KO Time: 20:00 GMT
Stadium: Stadio di Bergamo
Managers: Gian Piero Gasperini and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Referee: Slavko Vinčić

Atalanta vs Manchester United Team News:


The Nerazzurri are having a minor injury crisis at the moment. Gasperini has only released a 21-man squad to face United. Starting wingbacks Robin Gosens and Hans Hateboer missed the match at Old Trafford and remain injured for the tie in Italy. Rafael Toloi and Matteo Pessina missed the home match against Lazio and have not travelled. Berat Djimisti was previously out with a fractured arm but has been brought back into the squad although it’s unclear whether he’s ready to start. Demiral is also fit to play after coming off against United two weeks ago. Aleksei Miranchuk has travelled with the squad but is a doubt.

Manchester United

Manchester United are without Victor Lindelof who has a knock. The Swede has not travelled with the rest of the squad and means one of Telles or Bailly is set to start. Provided United stick with the back three. Bruno Fernandes is set to start after attending the pre-match conference with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Paul Pogba is also a likely starter as the Frenchman cannot play in the derby on Saturday as he remains banned for two more matches. Edinson Cavani came off with what seemed like cramp and may be a doubt. Especially if he is to start against City.

Interesting Facts:

  • Should Manchester United win, they will need just one point to qualify from the group.
  • Atalanta have kept just two clean sheets in their last seven home games.
  • Atalanta have hosted English teams three times. They beat Everton 3-0 in 2017, drew to Manchester City in 2019 and lost 5-0 to Liverpool exactly a year ago on Wednesday.
  • Manchester United played in Italy three times last season. United beat Sociedad and AC Milan (0-4 and 0-1 respectively) before losing 3-2 to Roma.

Atalanta vs Manchester United Predicted XIs:


Gasperini may be struggling for good home form but I expect the same formation from his side. At the back, Demiral and Lovato should start. However, it’s whether Djimisti is fit or if De Roon will play at the back as he did at Old Trafford. In midfield, Koopmeiners and Freuler should play together with a front three ahead of them. Zapata scored against Lazio and could start along with Muriel who impressed at Old Trafford. It’s a cointoss between Illicic and Pasalic. One got the opener for Atalanta and the other gifted United the ball for their first of the match. I think Gasperini will play Pasalic to drop deeper when needed.

Predicted Team (3-4-3): Musso; Lovato, Demiral, De Roon; Zappacosta, Freuler, Koopmeiners, Maehle; Pasalic, Muriel, Zapata

Manchester United

United will make some changes to the team that played against Spurs. I’d like to see Dean Henderson get a game as this could be a good one to rest David de Gea and show Henderson’s quality as a keeper. I don’t think Ole will start both Fred and McTominay as they are certainly playing on Saturday. Lindelof won’t feature so I think Ole will go for Shaw at left centre back and Telles at wing back. McTominay was excellent all game against Spurs whereas Fred, while equally impressive, gave the ball away in bad places. I think Ole will use Pogba and McTominay together in the midfield pivot to add a better passing range on the counter.

Fernandes will start at 10 and the striking partnership is a tricky one to call. I can see Rashford and Greenwood playing up top with Ronaldo and Cavani set to start on Saturday. Rashford and Greenwood can provide width and balls over the top if they time their runs right. Liverpool massacred Atalanta the same way last year and they were a much stronger team then.

Predicted Team (3-5-2): Henderson; Varane, Maguire, Shaw; Wan-Bissaka, McTominay, Pogba, Fernandes, Telles; Rashford, Greenwood

Predicted Score:

United know Atalanta need to win this one and so Ole can sit his team deep and counter with balls over the top to Rashford and Greenwood. It could cause mayhem and if they are clinical, United could have a very good day on Tuesday night. They have to stay focused as Atalanta have got good forwards despite their defensive issues. I do see United winning well but they have to be at it.

United to win 1-4

Author: Arjun Handa