The UEFA Champions League makes a welcome return on Tuesday when Group D leaders Liverpool have a chance to move five points clear of the competition with a win at Atalanta.
Jurgen Klopp & Co. sit pretty atop their pool after winning two of two, but their visit to the Gewiss Stadium in Bergamo always looked liable to be their most difficult fixture of the opening round. Their manager said as much in the build-up to Matchday 5 and compared Atalanta to a certain Premier League newcomer making waves under Marcelo Bielsa this term, via Goal’s Neil Jones:
Gian Piero Gasperini took La Dea into the Champions League for the first time in their history last season, advancing to the quarter-finals before they were ousted by eventual runners-up Paris Saint-Germain.
The Italian hosts head into this midweek matchup as underdogs despite a rash of injuries hurting Klopp’s options ahead of time, with the Reds in search of a fifth consecutive win across all competitions.
What TV Channel is Atalanta-Liverpool on?
TUDNxtra3 will broadcast Liverpool’s visit to Atalanta live at 3 p.m. ET on Tuesday. You can also live stream Champions League matches on fuboTV.
Undoubtedly the most significant loss for Liverpool in recent weeks has been that of Virgil van Dijk, who suffered a serious knee injury in last month’s Merseyside derby.
Klopp told reporters center-back Joel Matip returned to training on Monday alongside midfielder Naby Keita, but it remains unclear if either will be involved in Bergamo. Thiago Alcantara has played only 135 minutes for the Reds since moving to Anfield in the summer, and it looks unlikely he’ll feature on Tuesday after missing Liverpool’s final training session before flying out.
Among the alternatives to partner Joe Gomez in defense is 19-year-old Rhys Williams, with Fabinho also among the injured and Nathaniel Phillips—who impressed in Saturday’s 2-1 win over West Ham—ineligible for the Champions League, via Ian Doyle of the Liverpool Echo:
How to Watch Atalanta vs. Liverpool
When: Tuesday, November 3
Where: Gewiss Stadium, Bergamo, Italy
Time: 3 p.m. ET
Live Stream: fuboTV (watch for free)
Robin Gosens and Marten de Roon will not feature for Atalanta after they were omitted from Gasperini’s squad, while Mattia Caldara is still missing at the back following knee surgery.
A Luis Muriel brace was just enough as La Dea won 2-1 at Crotone on Saturday, their first win in three outings following defeat to Sampdoria and a 2-2 draw with Ajax (both in Bergamo):
This will be the fourth time since May 2018 that Liverpool travel to Italy in the Champions League, having suffered three straight defeats in those previous outings—once to AS Roma in 2018 and twice at Napoli (2018-19). Atalanta will host the Reds before travelling to Anfield for the reverse fixture on November 25, two games Gasperini described as “fundamental” to their hopes of advancing at his press conference:
“Klopp is a point of reference for all coaches, he’s a motive of prestige to play against them.
“The regret remains the lack of spectators, even in the away match. To hear their anthem would have been a great feeling.
“This is at the base of the most attacking teams, like us and them. The base always starts from knowing how to win back the ball and then propose yourself, I think this is the absence.”
Atalanta were the best attacking team in Serie A last season and welcome the Premier League leaders having scored in their last nine matches, offering a stiff test for a Liverpool lineup making the most of limited options.