Atalanta BC is set to defend their unbeaten record in the 2023-24 Europa League against SK Sturm Graz at Gewiss Stadium.
Following a 2-2 draw in their previous encounter, Atalanta aims to secure a decisive victory and maintain their lead in the group standings.
Atalanta currently holds a three-point advantage over Sporting Lisbon and Sturm Graz. Another win in this match would solidify their position in the race for the knockout stages, with just two group stage matches remaining.
Despite a recent loss to Inter Milan, Atalanta remains optimistic about their home performance, having lost only once in six matches this season. Notably, they have scored two goals in each Europa League match, showcasing their attacking prowess.
On the other hand, Sturm Graz, who faced elimination last season due to goal difference, is determined to avoid a similar fate.
However, they enter the match with only one victory in their last four games. The 2-2 draw against Atalanta was followed by a win against Grazer AK in the Cup but subsequent losses to Austria Vienna and LASK.
In terms of form, Atalanta’s recent performances include a mix of wins and losses, while Sturm Graz has experienced a slight dip with one win, one draw, and two losses in their last four matches.
- Atalanta’s Rafael Toloi, despite a red card against Inter Milan, is expected to start before serving a one-match ban.
- Otar Kiteishvili, Seedy Jatta, and Niklas Geyrhofer are ruled out for Sturm Graz due to injuries.
- Alexander Prass may miss league action but is likely to start for Sturm Graz in this Europa League encounter.
- Toloi, Djimsiti, Kolasinac;
- Zappacosta, Jose, De Roon, Ruggeri;
- Muriel, Lookman
- Johnston, Affengruber, Wuthrich, Schnegg;
- Horvat, Stankovic, Lavalee;
- Sarkaria, Wlodarczyk
Prediction: Atalanta BC 2-1 Sturm Graz
Atalanta’s strong home record positions them as favorites, aiming for a crucial win to secure their spot in the knockout stages.
While Sturm Graz poses a challenge, Atalanta’s home advantage is likely to be a deciding factor in this encounter.