Atalanta and PSG kick-off the quarter-finals on Wednesday night in the Champions League’s new mini-tournament format.
The single-leg clashes in the remaining knockout rounds in Lisbon begin on Wednesday night, as Atalanta and Paris Saint-Germain lock horns in a Champions League quarter-final match.
Both teams had the fortune of having already sealed a last-eight spot back in March. Atalanta did so by beating Valencia in an 8-4 aggregate thriller in the Round of 16. While PSG came from behind to eliminate Borussia Dortmund in their own respective tie 3-2 on aggregate.
Now it’s a matter who can hold their nerve and come out on top in a single match at a neutral venue in Lisbon, Portugal, with either RB Leipzig or Atletico Madrid awaiting in the semi-finals.
Atalanta Form & Team News
For a team competing in the Champions League for the first time, Atalanta have done an extraordinary job to reach the quarter-finals. But will it continue after Wednesday or not? Either way, Gian Piero Gasperini’s side are no pushovers.
Despite losing their opening three games in Group C, Atalanta bounced back and haven’t looked back since. They’ve only grown stronger as the season progressed. This form led them to a remarkable 20-match unbeaten run (W16 D4) before losing 2-0 to Inter in their final league game. A third-place finish above the heavily fancied Lazio in the Serie A was a solid result.
La Dea also finished with the best offensive record in Serie A by a landslide on 98 goals. Second-best Inter followed 17 goals adrift on 81, with Lazio a further two goals behind. In fact, they’ve scored 18 goals in their last 10 games and only failed to find the back of the net once. That’s an average of 1.8 goals-per-match.
The only concern was the club’s underwhelming finish to the league campaign, having recorded just two wins in five games. While only they only scored more than once on a single occasion.
Josip Ilicic, who is the club’s top-scorer in the Champions League, will likely remain absent for undisclosed personal reasons. Marco Sportiello, meanwhile, should replace the injured Pierluigi Gollini in goal. Center-back Jose Luis Palomino is also out.
PSG Form & Team News
Fresh from winning a domestic quadruple this season, PSG are now gunning for that elusive Champions League title. They topped Group A above Real Madrid and have only lost one of their eight games (W6 D2) in the competition. The stage, therefore, seems set for a full-on assault.
The Parisians are determined to not waste this one golden opportunity, with even Arsene Wenger backing them for glory. And who can blame them? This is the first time PSG have reached the quarter-finals since 2015/16, and they’ve arguably never been so strong before either.
A run of 10 successive wins, which includes friendlies and games dated back in February, suggests the club may enter the semi-finals for the first time since 1994/95.
Kylian Mbappe has returned to full training and could feature against Atalanta. It’s unclear what his role may be or his level of fitness, but’s excellent news for PSG. Although Marco Verratti is doubtful with a thigh injury and Angel Di Maria is suspended for the clash.
Atalanta may have the edge in match fitness, but their struggles of late could be problematic. Therefore, Betfair has tipped PSG as favorites with odds of 2.00. A draw is available at 3.9, while a victory for Gasperini’s men is priced at 3.5.
Tipping for over 2.5 goals during the match in Portugal seems worthwhile. PSG and Atalanta both have excellent goalscoring records in their respective leagues, and certainly have the players to pull off a goal-laden affair.
BBTS – Yes
As previously mentioned both teams have scored plenty of goals this season, even in bad days. So why shouldn’t they both get on the scoresheet on Wednesday?
It’s also worth noting that Atalanta have only kept one clean sheet in their last seven league outings.
Anytime Goalscorer – Neymar
If Kylian Mbappe doesn’t start, Neymar will likely shoulder the goal burden for PSG.
The Brazilian didn’t have the best of times in the Coupe de la Ligue final victory against Lyon this month, but he did score in both of PSG’s legs against Dortmund in the last-16.
Odds for a Neymar goal in Lisbon are available at 7/5 through Sportingbet, SportPesa, and Sport Nation on Oddschecker.