Atalanta vs PSG: Predictions, betting tips, odds & match preview
Atalanta are the first Champions League debutants to reach the quarter-finals since Leicester City did in the 2016/17 campaign. However, they face a side this Wednesday who are serial Ligue 1 winners, armed with a potent strike force, and hell-bent on shedding their lousy quarterfinal record: Paris Saint-Germaine.
So, can Thomas Tuchel’s men sweep aside Atalanta, or is the Lisbon stage set for an upset? Read our betting tips and predictions below…
Atalanta vs PSG Preview
La Dea and her players have been in blistering form in this season’s campaign ever since picking up a point against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in the group stages.
From there on, the goals have been in abundant supply, and the entertaining even more forthcoming, evident in the performance that Gian Gasperini’s men put in against Valencia in their two RO16 clashes.
Indeed, the first leg featured a dominant 4-1 attacking display; the likes of Hans Hateboer and Josep Ilicic made a mockery of the two-time finalists, whose attemps to sully Atalanta were as flimsy as their own back four.
The Italians then made lightwork of the second-leg clash at the Mestalla, this time courtesy of an Ilicic masterclass, with the 32-year-old becoming the fourth different player to score a quadruplet in a European knockout game after Lionel Messi, Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski.
Two penalties, a rasping left-foot drive and a shot that buried itself into the top corner from Ilicic sealed the deal for Valencia, whose season of woes continue as they faced a harrowing exit from the Champions League.
Yet where Atalanta’s skills and talents have been on display, this week’s opponents, PSG, have matched the entertainment stride for stride in their own RO16 battle with a, then, in-form Borussia Dortmund side.
With the Parisians looking worse for wear in the first leg – courtesy of a brace from the ever-impressive Erling Háland – and on course for another cursed exit, it seemed as if a comeback from Tuchel’s men was close to impossible.
But then came the breakthrough via Neymar, who revived the hopes of PSG fans outside the stadium with a diving header, meeting Angel Di Maria’s perfectly-timed cross with his noggin.
With the Brazilian notching up his eight goal in nine Champions League games, he and the team then piled the pressure onto a Dortmund defence not as well-versed as their breathtaking attack. And lo and behold, the footballing Gods followed suit with a goal from an unlikely source: Pablo Sarabia.
The 28-year-old made it 3-2 on aggregate for his team, surging down the right flank and delivering a searing cross that deflected off Juan Bernat into the goal.
Holding onto such a lead is an attribute that doesn’t normally fall within the Tuchel way of playing – but hold on PSG did, and having stolen the victory from Dortmund, now face a craftier side in Atalanta this Wednesday.
Atalanta vs PSG Betting Tips
18+ Only. Terms and Conditions Apply. Odds correct at time of writing.
Atalanta vs PSG Predictions
Though Atalanta have been cruising through their recent European matchups, it hasn’t always been blue skies and sunshines for La Dea.
Indeed, defeats in their first three group C games, including a heavy defeat to both Manchester City and Dinamo Zagreb, proved just as much.
However, picking up form in the latter stages of the competition, as evident in their victories in the return game against City and Shakhtar Donetsk, is a factor that certainly works in their favour – especially considering the caliber of opposition they face against PSG this Wednesday.
Sure, Tuchel’s men have historically struggled in RO16 and quarterfinal fixtures. Yet this season’s campaign has seen the Parisian’s level up, even without their twelfth man.
From the comeback against Dortmund, where PSG were able to suppress a Háland-led attack and orchestrate a smash-and-grab of their own, to their various group game wins that saw the French side add to their tally of having scored in each of their last 32 Champions League matches (85 goals), there’s been very few teams that have been able to contain this PSG team.
As such, the odds about a high-scoring game are definitely worth punting on, especially where the likes of Neymar and Edinson Cavani are concerned.
Yet, where the Les Rouge et Bleu boast a clinical attacking unit, Atalanta have professed to be just as efficient in the scoring department.
Having netted 70 goals in the Serie A this term – 20 more than leaders Juventus, the Italian side certainly possess the capacity to outscore their opponents. With their talisman leading the line, as surprising as they’ve been this season, it would shock no one for Gasperini’s men to emerge as victors.
It’s like Ilicic says – ‘we have fun, we don’t worry about who we’re playing against’. And with home advantage, form, and a fairytale narrative supporting their case – and our prediction for a win – though it’ll be a tough encounter against an incredibly offensive side, our forecast sees Atalanta edging it into the semifinals.
Squawka Bet Tip: Josep Illicic to score anytime @ 11/10 with Paddy Power – odds correct at the time of writing
Squawka Stat: Neymar has had a direct hand in 14 goals in just eight home Champions League appearances for PSG, scoring 10 times and assisting a further four.
If there’s anyone who can do some serious damage to Atalanta’s fairytale dream of making it to the pinnacle of European football as Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool did a year ago, then it’s Neymar.
The Brazilian, as per, has had a season rife with controversy, poor form in the Ligue 1 standings, plenty of recurring injuries, and all the transfer rumours linking him away from France.
And yet, when it’s come to this season’s Champions League permutations, the scoring has been forthcoming for the 28-year-old, with 10 goals and four assists to his name so far.
It’s the kind of scoring form that warrants his position in the starting XI, and alongside Mbappe, Cavani, and even Di Maria – the winger has two goals and four assists to his name in this season’s tournament campaign – the odds about a high-scoring game featuring Neymar’s name on the score board are definitely wager-worthy.
All the famed winger needs to do is evade Atalanta’s interweaving passing patterns and slip between the lines through to Marco Sportiello’s goal…
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