As I mentioned this morning, I'm not taking an official stance on this game as I have a position on PSG outright @ 11.00 from the pre-season. Below I'll outline some key metrics and hopefully that will allow you to make a more informed bet if you chose to bet this evening.
Atalanta finished 3rd in Serie A this season after coming close to pushing Juve for the title. Signs towards the end of this season seemed to suggest the Atalanta were running out of steam in my opinion
Their draws with Verona (1-1) a severely depleted Milan (1-1), scraping past Parma (2-1x xG 1.28-1.37) and then their final game of the season a 2-0 loss to Inter left a lot to be desired.
How about Europe? Atalanta were emphatic last time out against Valencia scoring 8 over two legs but conceding 4. The xG from those two legs shows a slightly closer affair (4.24-4.25)
In their group games they fell 4-0 to Dinamo despite winning the xG (2.36-1.6) they fell to Shakhtar despite winning the xG (2.23-0.61) they fell to Man City (5-1) and then turned their campaign around with a draw against City (2.07-0.54 xG in City's favour) A 2-0 win over Dinamo (xG 2.61-0.44) and finally a strong 3-0 in the Ukraine against Shakhtar (xG 3.29-0.98 in Atalanta's favour)
Team news: Atalanta are without their starting GK Gollini, on paper there doesn't appear to be too much between himself and the backup Marco Sportiello. Sportiello played once in the UCL this season and conceded 3 times (4-3 with Valencia. Atalanta will also be without one of their best attacking threats in Josip Iličić (0.8 goals per 90 in all comps this season) Ruslan Malinovsky or Mario Pašalić should deputize tonight
In defence they are potentially without José Luis Palomino too, Caldara will deputize if the Argentinian isn't fit. Atalanta concede slightly more xGA and goals per 90 with Caldara on the pitch. Their xG per 90 also suffers without Palomino
PSG will likely be without Verratti and Mbappé (both are in the squad but unlikely to start) which means a lack of creativity in midfield but more strength in the defence. Gueye, Paredes, and Herrera are excellent ball winners and can break up Atalanta's attacking rhythm.
Across all competitions PSG perform quite well with these 3 players.
- With Herrera in the XI they allow just 0.56xGA per 90 and 0.77 goals per 90.
- With Parades they allow just 0.5xGA and 0.62 goals against per 90
- With Gueye they allow 0.74xGA and 0.7 goals allowed per 90.
- With Verratti in the team goals against and xGA rises which should be a surprise to anyone who watches PSG.
If we're looking at the Euro Club Index to try and gauge which team has had the tougher route so far, we have to give that to PSG. Atalanta have faced just one team inside the Top 15 clubs in Europe (Man City) while PSG have already taken on two (Real Madrid and BVB)
From PSG's 4 matches with top level opponents they went W2 D1 L1. Atalanta took a draw from City as we mentioned above but if I'm not mistaken City had already qualified and didn't play their strongest possible XI. In that match City smothered them, Atalanta scored from their best and only clear cut chance (0.25xG Pašalić chance) and were fortunate to come away with the draw
Over their two matches with City they conceded 6 and allowed 4.73xGA (Man City weren't at their strongest in either match)
How do the two compare in Europe?
Tuchel is unbeaten in 20 of the 26 UCL matches he's taken charge of. Three losses have come with PSG (Man Utd and Liverpool last season and BVB this season) Only against Liverpool were PSG truly outplayed however they've improved a lot since then. Two other losses came to Monaco when he was at BVB but as we know BVB should never have been asked to play that 1st leg after the bomb scare.
Gasperini has taken charge of 9 games in the UCL (incl qualifiers) and won 4. His wins over Valencia were the only wins against a team in a Top 5 league. He also has an ok record in the UEL going W6 D4 L4