Everton v Atalanta Predictions, Betting Tips and Preview
November 20, 2017
Goodison Park - Europa League
Everton host Atalanta on Thursday night, with the Blues already out of the Europa League for this season and the visitors almost assured of their progress.
Everton were well beaten in the 'first leg' of this group stage tie back in September, in their first ever competitive match up, and from that the Toffees have been unable to recover in the group.
The Italian side secured a 3-0 home win that night, via goals from Andrea Masiello, Alejandro Gomez and Bryan Cristante.
Interim Everton manager David Unsworth is likely to name a youthful line up on Thursday night, with their elimination from Europe already assured and a huge game against Southampton at the weekend.
Oumar Niasse is ineligible and Morgan Schneiderlin is banned for Everton after his red card against Lyon, and the French midfielder could also miss the weekend game with a toe injury. Fellow midfielder James McCarthy and Ross Barkley are both sidelined until the start of December with hamstring injuries, meaning possible starting roles for Tom Davies and Benni Baningime.
Atalanta have no major injury issues ahead of the trip to Merseyside, with all three scores against Everton in their last meeting fit to start, alongside key defensive pair Rafael Toloi and Jose Luis Palomino.
Everton v Atalanta Preview and Predictions
Everton's woes show little signing of easing, and with the uncertainty surrounding who will replace Ronald Koeman still hanging in the air, preparations are far from ideal for the visit of Atalanta.
Unsworth is almost certain to be in the dugout for the game on Thursday, however he may not be for the trip to Southampton on Sunday afternoon, and if this is his last act as caretaker boss, he will not want to finish with a defeat.
Despite that, Everton do not look to have the attacking threat to win this game against a stubborn Atalanta side, so a draw looks a more likely result for this game - currently priced at 5/2.
The goal shy nature of Everton in Europe this season, scoring just three goals in four group stage games, does not bode well for this to be a high scoring encounter at Goodison Park.
An under 2.5 goals bet, currently priced at 5/6, looks to be a sensible option for this clash.
A 1-1 draw at 5/1
Thursday night's game could be Unsworth's last game as interim manager of Everton, and he has shown some signs of being able to generate performances from his players since stepping in following Koeman's exit. Given the fact that Atalanta's progress is virtually certain, they are unlikely to be too gung ho in attack, despite Everton's fragility, and a draw could suit both sides.
Wayne Rooney to score first at 13/2
Rooney is second top goal scorer for Everton this season, behind the ineligible Niasse, and he should be fit having been rested for the weekend draw against Crystal Palace. He needs a big performance on Thursday night to stop Everton from ending their European home campaign in inglorious fashion against Atalanta.