THE Champions League resumes this midweek and we asked Tom Love (TomLove_18) to analyse the encounter between Atalanta and PSG on Wednesday night.
Atalanta vs PSG | Wednesday 12th August 2020, 20:00 | BT Sport
This is a tantalising match up for the neutral between two sides stacked with attacking talent.
Atalanta were a few people's dark horses for this competition but they were probably scrunching up their ticket and throwing it in the bin after La Dea lost all three of their opening games at the group stage level. However, they picked up a point at home to Manchester City before beating Dinamo Zagreb and Shakhtar Donetsk in order to progress. They then hammered Valencia to sail through to the quarter-final stage.
Atalanta's opponents are the French champions PSG, who are aiming for the quadruple after winning domestic leagues and cups. The Ligue 1 outfit may be without Kylian Mbappe here though after a horror challenge by Saint Etienne defender Loic Perrin a few weeks ago. Mbappe has been in light training though and may be used off the bench if needed.
Thomas Tuchel almost has a thankless task being in charge of Les Parisiens. He’s won everything he could have done this season but still comes in for flack from the French press, who by the way are incredibly PSG-centric. It’s almost like other French clubs don’t exist. Anyway, I think he can put this season down as a very good one, all things considered, but it really does rest on their continental pursuits – that’s what the hierarchy are hell-bent on cracking.
To many, Atalanta look like a reasonably easy team to face in the final eight but those who are well read on the continent and in Italy will be well aware of the threats that they can pose. The Nerrazzurri have topped most of the major data metrics in Serie A, not only their excellent form in the final third but their defence has been up there with the best, to my surprise.
La Dea won’t fear PSG here and will take the game to them, I think. That could mean we are in for a feast of entertainment at the Estadio de la Luz in Lisbon on Wednesday evening.
Thriller forecast for Wednesday night
With drama expected I’m happy to dip into SkyBet’s Request-A-Bet market and take the 10/11 on Over 1.5 Goals, Each Team 3+ Corners and 30+ Booking Points.
Atalanta have been one of my go-to teams for corners over the last couple of years and given their ‘shoot on sight’ policy under Gian Piero Gasperini it’s no surprise to see deflections from defenders or tips round the post from goalkeepers. PSG will fancy their chances up front with Neymar and Mauro Icardi too.
Cards should be a feature here too. PSG have picked up 21 cards in their eight Champions League ties whereas Atalanta have seen 19. It’s a fun bet to follow also, being able to cheer on corners, goals and cards.
I also want to head to the player props market as PSG defensive midfielder Marquinhos looks a nice play at 7/10 (Pokerstars) to have two or more tackles. The Brazilian came to the club as a centre half but Tuchel has opted for him in a holding midfield role and to great success. He averages 2.4 tackles per 90 minutes and will be up against Atalanta attackers who have free reign to roam between the lines.
The Marquinhos wager has landed in 10 of his last 15 league games including a couple of three's and four's, as well as a seven. It’s much shorter elsewhere.
Atalanta vs PSG – Over 1.5 Goals, Each Team 3+ Corners, 30+ Booking Points (10/11 SkyBet)
Atalanta vs PSG – Marquinhos 2+ Tackles (7/10 Pokerstars)