Sports activities Mole previews Tuesday’s Champions League conflict between Villarreal and Atalanta BC, together with predictions, group information and potential lineups.
Villarreal and Atalanta BC will lock horns for the primary time of their respective histories on Tuesday evening, with the 2 groups opening their Champions League group-stage marketing campaign at Estadio de la Ceramica.
The Yellow Submarine haven’t been in motion since drawing 2-2 with Atletico Madrid on the finish of August, whereas Atalanta will enter the conflict off the again of a 2-1 house defeat to Fiorentina on Saturday.
Villarreal ensured that they might be current within the group phases of the 2021-22 Champions League by successful the Europa League final time period, with the Yellow Submarine overcoming Manchester United on penalties within the closing after the 2 groups had performed out a 1-1 draw over the course of 120 minutes.
Unai Emery‘s facet really completed seventh in La Liga final time period, and they’re competing within the group stage of the Champions League for simply the fourth time, whereas this season is their first participation since 2011-12, after they completed backside of a piece which included Bayern Munich, Napoli and Manchester Metropolis.
The Yellow Submarine have earlier expertise on the subject of reaching the knockout spherical of the Champions League, having made the semi-finals in 2005-06 and quarter-finals three years later. This time period, they must negotiate their method by way of a bunch that additionally contains Man United and Younger Boys.
Villarreal have solely performed 3 times in La Liga this time period, as their conflict in opposition to Alaves, which was scheduled to happen on Saturday, was postponed as a result of prolonged South American World Cup qualifying window.
Emery’s group have subsequently not been in motion since drawing 2-2 with Spanish champions Atletico on August 29, and it stays to be seen whether or not the remaining will assist them or hinder them on this European contest.
Atalanta, although, have been in league motion on Saturday, struggling a 2-1 house defeat to Fiorentina in Serie A; a combined begin to the 2021-22 marketing campaign has left the group in tenth place within the desk, having picked up 4 factors from their three matches, with their victory coming away to Torino on August 21.
Gian Piero Gasperini‘s facet are making their third successive look within the group phases, they usually have made the knockout rounds of their final two participations, reaching the quarter-finals two seasons in the past earlier than making the spherical of 16 final time period, the place they misplaced to Actual Madrid.
Atalanta completed third in Serie A final time period and in addition made the ultimate of the Coppa Italia, and there’s no query that they are going to be anticipating to problem excessive up the division this time period, along with making an impression within the Champions League – a contest the place they’ve put in some standout performances.
La Dea have by no means taken on Villarreal, they usually have really solely confronted Spanish opposition on 4 earlier events, shedding over two legs to Actual Madrid in final season’s Champions League however beating Valencia within the last-16 stage of the 2019-20 Europa League.
Villarreal type (all competitions):
Atalanta BC type (all competitions):
Villarreal will once more be with out the companies of Samuel Chukwueze attributable to a hamstring downside, whereas the membership are sweating on the health of main goalscorer from final season Gerard Moreno.
Moreno was compelled to depart the Spain camp throughout the latest worldwide break attributable to a thigh downside, however the indications are that the ahead shall be cleared to characteristic on Tuesday evening.
Head coach Emery can have been happy together with his group’s efficiency in opposition to Atletico earlier than the worldwide break, so it will not be a shock to see the identical XI, with Alberto Moreno working in a midfield place, and Boulaye Dia that includes alongside Gerard Moreno within the closing third.
As for Atalanta, Hans Hateboer and Luis Muriel will each miss the competition by way of damage, however Marten de Roon‘s suspension solely pertains to Serie A, so the midfielder is obtainable for choice right here.
Muriel’s absence signifies that Duvan Zapata will lead the road for the guests, whereas Josip Ilicic and Ruslan Malinovskyi – each substitutes on the weekend – may additionally characteristic as a part of a entrance three.
De Roon’s lack of soccer this season will rely in opposition to him on the subject of a beginning spot, so Mario Pasalic and Remo Freuler may characteristic as the 2 central midfielders in a 3-4-3 formation.
Villarreal potential beginning lineup:
Rulli; Foyth, Albiol, Mandi, Estupinan; Pino, Trigueros, Capoue, A Moreno; G Moreno, Dia
Atalanta BC potential beginning lineup:
Musso; Toloi, Palomino, Djimsiti; Maehle, Pasalic, Freuler, Gosens; Ilicic, Zapata, Malinovskyi
We are saying: Villarreal 1-1 Atalanta BC
This can be a very tough match to name, much more so contemplating that Villarreal haven’t performed because the finish of August. Each groups will consider that they’ll trigger points within the closing third of the sphere, however we’re struggling to separate them and have subsequently needed to decide on a low-scoring attract Spain.