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Football | Tuesday, May 21, 2024 9:24 AM

Atalanta vs Bayer Leverkusen Prediction: Team News and Lineups Preview

Atalanta vs Bayer Leverkusen Prediction: Team News and Lineups Preview
Marco Canoniero / Alamy Stock Photo: Gianluca Scamacca of Atalanta Bc looks on during the Uefa Europa League semi-final

This year’s first continental final is almost upon us and our Italian football expert, Daniele Fisichella, has prepared Atalanta vs Bayer Leverkusen prediction, team news, lineups and fixtures preview.

Prediction: Atalanta 1-2 Bayer Leverkusen

Who’s going to lift the Europa League trophy in Dublin? This is the first European final for the Serie A side, whereas the Germans are looking to add their second trophy after the 1988 UEFA Cup to cap off their unbeaten season. 

Atalanta vs Bayer Leverkusen Prediction 1: get set for goals in Dublin

Europa League, Final, Wednesday, May 22nd, 20:00 (UK)

A date with destiny for both clubs. Atalanta could become the first ever Italian team to win the Europa League. The Orobici have risen through the ranks and quickly got accustomed to playing at such a high level. But this is the biggest game of their history. 

Both clubs have had different trajectories this season. The Germans have started strongly, taking the Bundesliga by a storm, and, also in Europe, looked like a force since the beginning. 

Atalanta have found their right balance after November and gradually improved, to the point they stunned Liverpool with a 3-0 win at Anfield.  

Before that came the knockout tie against Portugue champions Sporting Lisbon. 

Fifty-one games with no defeats, with 42 wins in total. Xabi Alonso’s men have rewritten the club’s history in popular culture.

From March onwards, a flurry of late goals and unbelievable comebacks added more narrative to Leverkusen’s invincibility. 

The Spanish coach and his players are living proof that victory and entertainment are not opposite concepts. 

Leverkusen have only failed to score in just one game this season and Atalanta have drawn a blank only once, last week in the Coppa Italia final, in the last nine games. 

  • Atalanta vs Bayer Leverkusen Prediction 1: Number Of Goals In The Match: 2 Or 3 (TRACKED BET)
  • Best Odds: 1.95
  • Bookmaker: bet365
  • Stake: 7/10

Atalanta vs Bayer Leverkusen Prediction 2: unbeatable, but not invulnerable

Unlike before the Coppa Italia final against Juventus, this time, Atalanta has the psychological advantage of not being favourites. 

A week ago, Gian Piero Gasperini’s men looked almost petrified after conceding early in the match, and were never able to get into their rhythm. Perhaps, as the underdog, Atalanta will relish this occasion and certainly will be able to find more spaces against a team, Leverkusen, who’s used to attacking with many players. 

As Qarabag and Roma have demonstrated during this Europa League campaign, the Bundesliga champions are not invulnerable (they’ve kept just two clean sheets in the last eight), but they possess an extraordinary ability to respond to challenges. 

Leverkusen are intense, courageous and resilient. But they’re also tactical astute and can mould themselves on the opposition. In fact, on more than one occasion, the last one in the first leg of the semi-final against Roma, Alonso tweaked his starting eleven, even leaving out the two main strikers (Boniface and Shick). 

Leverkusen have been perfect this season but, if anything, at times they’ve struggled against teams that tend to defend with a low block, but Atalanta certainly don’t have the mindset, nor the players, to adopt that approach. 

  • Atalanta vs Bayer Leverkusen Prediction 2: Both Teams To Score – Yes (TRACKED BET)
  • Best Odds: 1.80
  • Bookmaker: bet365
  • Stake: 5/10

Atalanta vs Bayer Leverkusen Prediction 3: the stage is set for the main men

In order to beat the competition’s top scorers (31 goals for Leverkusen), Atalanta knows they’ll have to make the best of those chances that, inevitably, the Germans will concede. 

Given the Orobici defensive record, only three clean sheets in the last 11 in all competitions, it is unlikely they’ll manage to keep such a fine side at bay for 90 minutes or more. 

Atalanta’s main threat are two players whose careers seemed to have gone downhill last season. 

Gianluca Scamacca only had three Premier League goals with West Ham and was a spectator, due to a knee injury, during last year’s Conference League final won by the Hammers. Charles De Keteleare never scored for AC Milan who were happy to send him to Bergamo on loan in the summer.

Together, the Italian and the Belgian, have already scored 32 times, almost a third of all Atalanta’s goals this season, as they look like a match made in heaven, providing unpredictability, strength and physical presence. 

In the other camp, Florian Wirtz has been Leverkusen’s biggest goal threat, with 18 goals and 19 assists in all competitions. Either in the false-nine position or behind the main striker, the 21-year-old German is expected to have many shooting opportunities considering Leverkusen have fired off a tournament-leading 234 goal attempts this season. 

  • Atalanta vs Bayer Leverkusen Prediction 3: Florian Wirtz Over 1.5 Shots, Gianluca Scamacca Over 0.5 Shots, Both Teams To Receive A Card – Yes  (TRACKED BET)
  • Best Odds: 1.83
  • Bookmaker: bet365
  • Stake: 10/10

Atalanta vs Bayer Leverkusen Prediction odds via bet365 as at 10:30, May 22nd, 2024. Odds may now differ.

Atalanta vs Bayer Leverkusen Team News and Possible Lineups: two big players missing for ‘La Dea’

Atalanta are missing two key players due to injuries, defender Kolasinac and midfielder De Roon; Scalvini is in contention with Djimsiti for a start in the back three. 

Pasalic will play in the middle with Ederson. Koopmeiners and De Keteleare will support Scamacca.

The only doubt for Xabi Alonso is whether to choose Boniface or Schick up front. Andrich should start on the bench; Kovar will continue to play in goal. 

Atalanta possible starting lineup:
Carnesecchi; Tolói, Djimsiti, Hien; Hateboer, Éderson, Pasalic, Ruggeri; Koopmeiners, De Ketelaere; Scamacca

Bayer Leverkusen possible starting lineup:
Kovář; Kossonou, Tah, Tapsoba; Frimpong, Andrich, Xhaka, Grimaldo; Wirtz, Schick, Adli

Match Stats: A very long season for both

  • Atalanta and Bayer Leverkusen have already met: in the 2021/22 round of 16. On that occasion Gian Piero Gasperini’s team got the better (victories 3-2 at home and 1- 0 at the BayArena).
  • This will be Leverkusen’s 52nd, and last, game of the season. Atalanta will play another two Serie A games after the final in Dublin, taking the total to 56. The Bergamaschi have been defeated 13 times, Leverkusen are still unbeaten.
  • Bayer Leverkusen is aiming for the treble: after having won the Bundesliga for the first time, and unbeaten, the German club, in addition to the Europa League final, they’ll also play the German Cup final against Kaiserslautern.
  • Atalanta, however, failed to win the Italian Cup, losing 1-0 against Juventus.
  • Bayer are the competition’s leading scorers so far this season with 31 goals.
  • Alonso’s team have fired off a tournament-leading 234 goal attempts in 2023/24.

Atalanta Fixtures: back-to-back home matches

  • Vs Torino (H)
  • Vs Fiorentina (H)

Bayer Leverkusen Fixtures: against 2. Bundesliga opposition

  • Vs Kaiserslautern, DFB-Pokal (A)

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