Atalanta vs Bayer Leverkusen. Prediction and Preview. Probable Lineups, Team News, Stats, and more

Atalanta BC will host Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the UEFA Europa League final match at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland. The fixture will take place on Thursday, May 23, beginning at 00:30 IST.

Parimatch News will tell you everything you need to know ahead of the upcoming match.

Atalanta News & Current Form: 

The team of Gian Piero Gasperini did not start the current season with much confidence, but in the second half, the team from Bergamo hit an incredible run of form. La Dea secured a 2:0 victory over US Lecce at the Stadio Ettore Giardiniero during the 37th-round fixture of Serie A, clinching qualification for the UEFA Champions League next season after a two-year absence.

In the fourth minute, Wladimiro Falcone blocked Miranchuk’s shot, and three minutes later, he saved a close-range shot from Mario Pasalic. The Nerazzurri responded with shots from Scamacca, who struck straight at the goalkeeper, and El Bilal Toure, who threatened the opponent with a free kick.

Gaffer of Atalanta BC Gian Piero Gasperini is likely to leave the club at the end of the season

The deadlock was broken in the 48th minute when Charles De Ketelaere, coming off the bench, put Atalanta ahead by slipping past a defender and shooting right into the net. Five minutes later, Aleksei Miranchuk served a corner straight to Gianluca Scamacca, who doubled the visitors’ lead with a header. Gasperini’s men now are to face Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League final, set to take place on Thursday in Dublin.

Remarkably, the Italian team has reached a European Cup final for the first time in their history—their previous best was the semi-final of the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in the 1987/88 season. In the 21st century, La Dea could only boast quarter-final appearances in the 2019/20 Champions League and the 2021/22 Europa League.

Atalanta began this campaign with a strong performance in the group stage: four wins and two draws against Sporting CP, SK Sturm Graz, and Raków Częstochowa, with a goal difference of 12:4. In the round of 16, they faced their group-stage rival from Lisbon: the match in Portugal ended in a draw (1:1), but in Bergamo, the hosts won (2:1).

In the quarter-finals, Gian Piero Gasperini’s team produced one of the tournament’s biggest surprises by thrashing Liverpool FC at Anfield (3:0). This made their progression secure despite a narrow home defeat (0:1).

The semi-final against Olympique de Marseille began with a draw in France (1:1), and they achieved a comprehensive victory at home (3:0) to unexpectedly advance to the final. While Bayer’s place in the final was anticipated by the football community based on their season’s performance, Atalanta’s achievement was considered a feat.

However, the mood of the Bergamo side and their fans was dampened by last week’s defeat in the Coppa Italia final against Juventus FC (0:1). The trophy went to the Turin side thanks to Dusan Vlahovic, who scored in the fourth minute—the only goal of the match. Gasperini’s men couldn’t find a way past the Old Lady’s defence, allowing coach Massimiliano Allegri to leave with the trophy in hand. Interestingly, Gasperini might also leave the club after the European final, with Italian media linking the coach to SSC Napoli.

The Bergamaschi are preparing for the final with several squad issues. Marten De Roon, Sead Kolasinac, and Emil Holm are likely to miss the match in Dublin. Atalanta’s top scorer this season, Teun Koopmeiners (15 goals and 7 assists), may change clubs in the summer. Currently, he plays a crucial role in the club’s success. Meanwhile, Miranchuk is the team’s best assist provider in this Europa League campaign with four assists. In the match against Lecce, he ended an 11-game streak without a resultative action.

Bayer Leverkusen News & Current Form: 

Without a doubt, Bayer Leverkusen can be confidently named one of the best teams of the season worldwide. For the first time in history, the Pharmacists won the Bundesliga, and last weekend they became the first team to go through the entire German championship season without a single defeat.

In the final round of the season,  the team of Xabi Alonso convincingly defeated FC Augsburg with a score of 2:1, after which the official award ceremony for the championship title took place. Following the ceremony, the head coach and team captain Lukas Hradecky climbed into the fan section to celebrate the tremendous success with the supporters.

Additionally, the team from Leverkusen holds the record for the longest unbeaten streak in European football history, with 51 matches across all competitions. To complete the season undefeated, Bayer needs to avoid defeat in the two remaining finals. After the match against Atalanta, Leverkusen will play in the DFB-Pokal final against the modest FC Kaiserslautern on May 25.

In the group stage of the second most prestigious European club competition, the Red and Blacks dismantled Qarabag FK, Molde FK, and BK Häcken, securing six wins out of six with a goal difference of 19:3. In the round of 16, Leverkusen faced the Azerbaijani club again, progressing thanks to their now-famous last-minute comebacks (2:2, 3:2).

In the quarter-finals, the Werkself overcame West Ham United FC (2:0, 1:1), and then cynically avenged their previous semi-final defeat to AS Roma. They won 2:0 at the Stadio Olimpico and escaped defeat at the BayArena shortly before the final whistle (2:2).

Previously, the German team reached two European finals but lost both. In the 1987/88 UEFA Cup, where they defeated RCD Espanyol (0:3, 3:0, 2:3 on penalties), and in the 2001/02 Champions League, they lost to Real Madrid CF (1:2). However, for Xabi Alonso, who turned “Neverkusen” into “Neverlosen” in just one and a half seasons, these past failures are irrelevant.

A piece of good news for the fans of the Red and Blacks is that their beloved team is preparing for the decisive matches without any injuries. The young shining star of the team Florian Wirtz had some minor health issues, but the medical staff helped the attacking midfielder recover, allowing him to play half a match in the last Bundesliga round.

The youngster scored 15 times and provided an assist also 15 times. Even without considering his phenomenal statistics, a player deserves nothing but praise. Despite his relatively young age, the midfielder displays remarkably mature football. It appears he is a player without weaknesses: he possesses excellent vision, dribbles well at speed, and executes a significant amount of off-the-ball work.

Other leaders of the squad include 23-year-old Nigerian Victor Boniface and his Dutch counterpart Jeremie Frimpong. European top clubs are already eyeing them, and undoubtedly, Bayer will receive solid offers for both players at the end of the season.

Experienced players like Granit Xhaka, Alex Grimaldo and Patrik Schick bring calmness to the team even in challenging situations, which is also one of the reasons behind the last-minute victories. Schick, in particular, can be considered the team’s top marksman in the Europa League, with five goals to his name.

The specialist who brought Bayer Leverkusen to the first ever title in the Bundesliga – Xabi Alonso

Moreover, in the match against Augsburg, the Spanish specialist rested some key players, although the overall lineup remained strong, underscoring the team’s excellent form and readiness to play without respite even in matches without the pressing need to win.

Notably, the upcoming opponents have only met once before in European competitions — in the round of 16 of the 2021/22 Europa League season, where Atalanta emerged victorious in both matches, winning 3:2 at home and 1:0 in Leverkusen. 

Atalanta form guide: D-W-W-W-L-W

Bayer Leverkusen form guide: D-W-W-D-W-W

Atalanta vs Bayer Leverkusen Head-To-Head Record:

AtalantaDrawBayer Leverkusen
  • March 10, 2022: Atalanta 3 – 2 Bayer (UEFA Europa League);
  • March 17, 2022: Bayer 0 – 1 Atalanta (UEFA Europa League).

Atalanta vs Bayer Leverkusen Predicted XI:

Atalanta’s possible starting lineup (3-4-1-2): Musso; Djimsiti, Hien, Scalvini; Zappacosta, Pasalic, Ederson, Ruggeri; Koopmeiners, De Ketelaere; Scamacca.

Bayer Leverkusen’s possible starting lineup (3-4-2-1): Kovar; Tapsoba, Tah, Hincapie; Frimpong, Xhaka, Andrich, Grimaldo; Hofmann, Wirtz; Schick.

Statistical preview of the match Atalanta vs Bayer Leverkusen:

  • Atalanta’s First XI average age is 27.2 years, and Bayer’s First XI average age is 27.1 years.
  • The total value of the Italian squad is 349 mln euros, while the total of Leverkusen comes up to 594 mln euros.
  • Istvan Kovacs has been appointed as the centre referee. The match official has already served 10 games this season, showing an average of 5.2 yellow cards and also whistles 23.8 fouls per game. 
  • In the last 5 games, Atalanta conceded an average of 0.60 goals per game and scored an average of 1.80 goals per game.
  • In the last 5 games, Bayer concedes an average of 0.80 goals per game and scores an average of 3.20 goals per game.
  • Bayer has not known defeat in 51 matches of the season (42 wins, 9 draws). In the Europa League, Leverkusen have not lost in 13 matches in a row (9 wins, 4 draws).
  • Atalanta haven’t lost in 9 Europa League matches in a row outside their home walls (5 wins, 4 draws).
  • For Atalanta, it will be the first European Cup final in their history. 
  • Bayer has won the European Cup only 1 time in history –  the UEFA Cup in the 1987/88 season.

What has been said before the match:

Xabi Alonso, coaching Bayer, has instilled a winning mentality and high spirits within the team, propelling them to unprecedented success this season:

“The feeling and mood within the team are good and all of us are really looking forward to the final. After winning the league, we can achieve great success in the Europa League and then the DFB Pokal as well.”

Atalanta are currently one of the toughest opponents in Europe. Coach Gasperini has a clear plan and built up a team with a strong mentality and high quality in depth. They are a top team. We’ll have a chance if we produce our best form. It will be a great final, very tight and interesting for the fans.”

“We had a clear target of qualifying for the Champions League. On top of that, we wanted to play good and attractive football. Winning the Bundesliga and being in two finals was not necessarily realistic in August. But after two or three games we saw early on what was possible and that we could achieve something exceptional.”

“We learn from each other every day and I’ve learned a lot as a coach in the time up to now. We have done very well so far even though there have been a couple of mistakes of course. Now we will prepare for the two finals.”

“I’m very happy with the team. We haven’t had many free weeks in the last two months. The mood and the energy in the dressing room are good. I really like the atmosphere at the moment. Everybody has great anticipation and ambition.”

With a clear vision and a driven squad, Gasperini aims to leverage Atalanta’s strengths to challenge Bayer’s unbeaten run, utilizing their tactical prowess, and resilience:

“First European final sounds good. It is a great achievement and reason for satisfaction, achieved in a really positive season by the whole team. Is it the highest point of my career? Yes, in terms of achievement and prestige absolutely. In terms of gratification, fortunately, I’ve had quite a lot, although maybe not at the same level.”

“The team has always wanted to achieve success in Europe. Sometimes there are teams that are technically strong but lack hunger and determination. From the beginning of the group stage, when we played in Lisbon and were not favourites we played great games against strong opponents. Of course, winning at Anfield boosted our confidence even more.”

“Bayer’s results speak for themselves: they have never lost this year. We will face a very tough team, who have done something extraordinary in their country. They are very solid and compact, difficult to overcome. They are a very good team, otherwise, they would not get these results, but we also have important attributes and I hope I can give them problems to make them miss.”

Atalanta vs Bayer Leverkusen Prediction:

Xabi Alonso’s band hasn’t lost in 51 games, the longest unbeaten run since 2000 across Europe. It is the best season for the Black and Reds in the club’s history. Bayer’s potential treble this season is a phenomenon that inspires fans to believe in the triumph of fair football. This achievement is two finals away from Leverkusen this week, with Bayer’s German Cup decider coming against Kaiserslautern, who finished this season at the bottom of the 2. Bundesliga. The Company’s Eleven are on a wild ride at the moment and are full of confidence and determination to break a 36-year European trophy drought.

The attacking line with Victor Boniface in the vanguard is producing an impressive 2.6 goals per match on average. Eight of the last ten recent outings have seen at least 2 goals recorded into account of Xabi Alonso’s men. In the current UEFA Europa League, there has not been a single game in which the Germans have not managed to net, with the team scoring at least two goals in 10 of the 12 recent occasions. At the same time, the defence is also convincing, conceding just 0.7 goals per game. In the Bundesliga Bayer 04 has not conceded in 15 games (the best result), and the alternate Matěj Kovář in turn does not lag behind in the UEL, counting 5 clean sheets in the UEL, aspiring for the Golden Glove. The only thing that can hinder the Black and Reds is their penchant for dramatic willful victories in the final moments of the match. The German club is already in the habit of scoring in the final minutes and making comebacks: Granit Xhaka and teammates have scored after the 80th minute in 25 of their 51 matches in all tournaments. In the final, the denouement could also occur in the second half or even in the extra time: in the first half, the rivals will scrutinise each other and try to minimise the threats at their own goal. In this case, after the break the game will be much more open and the probability of scoring will be much higher. 

Atalanta, meanwhile, also produced a not-so-outstanding but still noteworthy 23/24 campaign. The Black and Blues delivered a superb run of form at the end of the season, winning 5 times in a row in Italy and almost qualifying for the Champions League. The Bergamo boys have scored at least 2 goals in seven of the last ten. Overall, the team is playing briskly and, importantly, balanced, as evidenced by a goal difference of +28 (the second-best result in Serie A). However, a week earlier Atalanta gave a slip, losing to Juventus in the Italian Cup final. Now the Goddesses are in danger of going trophyless despite their best efforts. 

Two years ago the opponents met in the 1/8 finals of the Europa League, and then the Italian club won both matches. But this season Bayer looks completely different, the wards of Xabi Alonso have more confidence in their abilities, they play on the spur of the moment and therefore are now favourites, we believe that they will be able to extend their unbeaten streak. We also expect the teams to start the match tentatively, although in the end they will still produce some colourful football when the game opens up, and 90 minutes of the match may not be enough to find a winner. 

Parimatch News staff prediction:

We say: Bayer will not lose in the regular time and the match total will be over 1.5 – Yes.