Villarreal vs Atalanta predictions and match preview for Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League fixture. Read on for the head-to-head, team news, predicted lineups and fantasy football picks as the Yellow Submarine return to Europe’s premier club competition.
|Date||Tuesday 14th September 2021|
|Kick-Off||21:00 (local time)|
|Competition||UEFA Champions League Group Stage|
Villarreal vs Atalanta Preview
Villarreal’s reward for winning the 2020/21 UEFA Europa League is a crack at the Champions League and they kick off with a tricky game against free-scoring Serie A side Atalanta. This will be the Yellow Submarine’s first appearance in the Champions League group stage since a miserable experience in 2011/12 when they lost all six games in what was an admittedly very tough group.
Clearly, this is a very different Villarreal side now and they will take enormous belief from what they achieved in the Europa League last term. They beat the likes of RB Salzburg and Arsenal en route to the Final against Manchester United where Unai Emery’s side won an epic penalty shootout to lift their first ever trophy.
They will soon be reunited with the Red Devils who are also in this group along with Young Boys. A strengthened Manchester United will be expected to progress so it looks like it’s between Villarreal and Atalanta for the other qualification position with the meetings between the two clubs potentially decisive.
Given that, Villarreal will be grateful for the rest heading into this game after their weekend league fixture was postponed. They did play a friendly on Friday featuring some of their non-internationals but lost 3-2 and Villarreal are actually yet to win this season after a last minute own goal denied them victory at the Wanda Metropolitano in their last league game – making it three straight draws to start the new campaign in LaLiga.
Atalanta haven’t exactly made a flying start in Italy either though. Since winning their opening match, they’ve been held to a 0-0 draw at home by Bologna before being defeated, again on their own ground, 2-1 by Fiorentina. The alarm bells won’t be ringing just yet but there will be those that question whether Atalanta can continue to punch above their weight at the top end of Serie A and in Europe after a series of very impressive seasons.
They’ve shown the ambition that suggests they want to do just that with their summer signings including Juan Musso, Cristian Romero and Teun Koopmeiners. They can also take confidence from having progressed from their group in each of the last two seasons in the UCL, notably winning all three away games in the group stage last season including a famous win at Anfield.
Head to Head
- This will be the first competitive meeting.
Dani Parejo is fit again but hasn’t played much football. Gerard Moreno is a minor doubt but is still expected to start. Pau Torres and Sergio Asenjo may also come into the XI.
Hans Hateboer and Luis Muriel are both out for the visitors.
Predicted Villarreal Starting Lineup:
Asenjo – Estupinan, Torres, Albiol, Foyth – Moreno, Capoue, Parajo, Pino – Moreno, Dia (4-4-2)
Predicted Atalanta Starting Lineup:
Musso – Djmisiti, Palomino, Toloi – Gosens, Freuler, Pasalic, Maehle – Malinovskyi, Zapata, Ilcic (3-4-3)
Villarreal vs Atalanta Predictions
Score Prediction: Villarreal 1-1 Atalanta
This is going to be a tough game for a Villarreal side which hasn’t made a convincing start to the season. It looks as though Dani Parejo will be fit to play which is key, but they still may not have enough to see off a dangerous Atalanta side.