Atalanta and RB Leipzig will face for the second time on Thursday as they eye a place in the semifinal of the Europa League for the first time in their respective history. Atalanta’s hopes of qualifying for next season’s European competition faced another blow on the weekend with a defeat in Sassuolo. On the other hand, Leipzig’s strong run continued as they crushed fellow Champions League hopefuls TSG Hoffenheim with the help of three first-half goals.
Atalanta lost at Sassuolo
A back-to-back defeat and fifth in nine games saw Atalanta sit further behind in the race for any of the European competitions. And Roma, Lazio and Fiorentina all won their respective games this weekend.
After qualifying for three Champions Leagues in trot, this seems the time where they will take a break under Gian Piero Gasperini. But there is still one option to book their tickets for next season’s premier competition.
Winning the Europa League can seal an automatic place in the Champions League group stages for Atalanta. They knocked out a strong challenger Bayer Leverkusen in the previous round, and Leipzig is now their current obstacle.
When and where to watch?
The match kicks off at 17:45 on Thursday 14th April 2022, and the entire match will be available on BT Sport.
Leipzig has no UCL worries
Meanwhile, RB Leipzig is even pushing for a top-third finish with former Schalke coach Domenico Tedesco improving the side immensely since his arrival at the club in the middle of the season.
They took a big step towards Champions League qualification with a comfortable win against Sebastian Hoeness’ Hoffenheim. Although the first goal was a marginal VAR decision, it was never in doubt with Hoffenheim’s midfielder Christopher Baumgartner calling it a game of men against boys.
With Leverkusen drawing another blank against Bochum, Leipzig can look up more than fearing dropping to outside Champions League spots. It’s a big upgrade compared to the difficult start to the campaign under Jesse Marsch.
Entertaining game in Leipzig
Atalanta were the better side in the first-leg like they were against Leverkusen in the previous round. Luis Muriel was exceptional once again as he opened the scoring with an exquisite finish. Andre Silva missed a third penalty-kick in a European night this season moments before Willi Orban leveled the score with a powerful header.
Atalanta & RB Leipzig Team News
Duvan Zapata returned to the side as he was even on the starting lineup against Sassuolo. Muriel added to his tally off the bench, but Atalanta lost the game 2-1.
Amadou Haidara is the only Leipzig player currently on the sidelines.
Atalanta hope form will not mean much in a one-off game
Despite their difficulties in Serie A, Atalanta enjoyed an excellent campaign in the Europa League since they transformed from the Champions League. Leipzig also took the same route, but they didn’t play in the last round. With the abolition of the away goals rule, there is nothing between the two sides currently.
|Half time draw||5/4 (2.25)||888Sport|
|Both teams to score||13/20 (1.65)||888Sport|
|Duvan Zapata to score anytime||21/20 (2.05)||888Sport|