Atalanta have grabbed the initiative in Europa League Group D and the Serie A outfit will be looking to claim their third win in this season’s competition when they make the trip to Sturm Graz on Thursday afternoon (17:45). We’ve previewed the game and given you our suggested betting tips.
Graz finished second in the Austrian Bundesliga last season and are unbeaten in their first 11 league games of the new campaign, but they have already tasted home defeat in Europe, losing their opening game 2-1 against Sporting Lisbon.
Atalanta meanwhile have already beaten the Portuguese outfit and Polish champions Rakow Czestochowa, so Gian Piero Gasperini’s side should be confident about gaining another group-game success.
Seedy Jatta scored on his first start for Sturm Graz in their 2-1 victory over Hartberg at the weekend and the Norwegian will be hoping to maintain his place in the home side’s starting line-up.
William Boving will also be looking for the opportunity to shine for the Austrian Bundesliga leaders, having scored in each of his last three European appearances, including the winner in their all-important victory at Rakow Czestochowa last time out.
Atalanta’s Dutch midfielder Teun Koopmeiners looks set to miss out for the boys from Bergamo as Gasperini is expected to keep faith with the team that beat Genoa 2-0 at home on Sunday.
Atalanta are 9/10 to claim their third successive Europa League win while Sturm Graz are 11/4 to join the Italians on six points, with the draw priced at 12/5.
Over 2.5 goals can be backed at 8/11, with the same odds available for both teams to find the back of the net, while Atalanta’s former West Ham forward Gianluca Scamacca is 5/1 favourite to score the first goal, with the lively Lookman available at 11/2.
Atalanta to win @ 9/10
Sturm Graz have had an excellent start to the Austrian domestic season and look set to challenge for the title again, but a game against Atalanta represents a step up in class and it could prove difficult.
Graz remain undefeated in their league but Sporting Lisbon have already left with a 2-1 victory in this competition and Atalanta, who will be aiming for a top-four finish in Serie A this season, have already posted a victory over the Portuguese outfit.
They have scored at least twice in four of their six away matches this season and while Sturm Graz have won their last six games, they could have their work cut out against superior opposition, so an away win appeals most.
#PickYourPunt – Both teams to score, Ademola Lookman to score at any time & Atalanta to win 2-1 @ 9/1
Graz should not be ruled out of the game because winning is a great habit to get into and they could find the target against Atalanta, who have kept just two clean sheets in their last 11 away matches, so take both teams to score as the first element of a #PickYourPunt selection that is available at 9/1.
Atalanta have only failed to score in one of their last 11 games on the road and it is worth backing them to win 2-1, as they did so in their most recent Europa league game against Sporting Lisbon, and former Everton forward Ademola Lookman could make his mark for the Serie A team, having scored three times and taken a team-high 16 attempts on goal this season.