Dave Tindall looks at Wednesday evening's Champions League showdown between Atalanta and Manchester City...
Atalanta v Man City
Wednesday, 20:00
Live on BT Sport Extra

Atalanta full of holes

Your eyes would usually be pointed at the top two in a Champions League group table to find an Italian representative but the gaze has to be drawn to the very bottom to reveal Atalanta.
It's been nightmare so far for Gian Piero Gasperini's side with three defeats out of three and a goal difference of -9.
Five of the 11 goals they've conceded came at the hands of Manchester City in the first meeting at the Etihad - and that after they've scored the opening goal!
They followed that hammering with a 7-1 home win in Serie A where a fuller picture emerges.
Atalanta score freely - indeed, they're the leading goalgetters in Serie A with 30 - but they have a porous defence, shipping 18 in 11 domestic starts.
Half of those 18 have come at home where they've won two, drawn one and lost two.

City in the goals

Man City are averaging just over three goals per game - 34 in 11 - in the Premier League and it's a very similar ratio in Europe.
So far - 10 in three:
Shakhtar 0-3 Man City
Man City 2-0 Dinamo Zagreb
Man City 5-1 Atalanta
Their five goals against Atalanta were split between Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling.
The Argentina bagged a brace to secure a 2-1 lead at the interval before Sterling fired in a second-half hat-trick, all three goals coming in the space of 11 minutes.
City's three victories have put them five points clear at the top of Group C and another win here would see them qualify with two games to spare.

City hot favourites

City come into this one having won 10 of their last 11 games in all competitions.
That stat, plus the relative positions of the two sides in the group, means the Man City win is just 1.57, obviously pretty short for an away side in Europe.
Atalanta are 5.60 to stun the visitors while The Draw is 5.20.

While it's good for the finances, Atalanta playing home Champions League matches at the San Siro in Milan due to their own stadium not meeting UEFA requirements would appear to a negative.
We only have one match as evidence but losing 2-1 to Shakhtar was clearly not in the plans, although the defeat was suffered after conceding the winner in the fifth minute of injury time.

As in the first game against City, the Italians had netted the first goal of the match.

City can cruise on

The Premier League champions were a goal down against Atalanta at the Etihad so there could be some scope for backing the Italians to score first, or City to win from behind.
That said, the home side have conceded the opener in each of their last three Serie A games and lost 2-0 on their own patch at the weekend.
If City score the first goal, it's extremely hard to see them not winning the match so, rather than taking the basic win price, I'll go north of Evens by backing the Man City/Man City HT/FT double result at 2.34.

Liverpool game likely to affect team news

With the crunch game against Liverpool coming up on Sunday, Pep will surely rotate his pack.
Therefore taking anytime prices on Aguero or Sterling doesn't seem the best idea.
Of course, City have plenty of attacking options which is why I'm not put off them leading at both the break and full time.
Likely starters in a reshuffled line-up would be Gabriel Jesus and Riyad Mahrez, who are 1.94 and 2.78 respectively to score.
Ilkay Gundogan, if he gets the nod, could be worth a look at 4.40. The German netted twice for his country in a recent 3-0 win in Estonia and was on target for City in their 3-0 home win over Aston Villa two starts ago.
Notably, he also found the net in City's last Champions League away game, the 3-0 win at Shakhtar.
For Atalanta, Luis Muriel has five in five domestically although he's yet to find the net in the Champions League.

Opta stat

Manchester City have won 10 of their last 12 UEFA Champions League games (W10 D1 L1), including winning all three this season. No team has ever not progressed from the group stages of the Champions League after winning their opening three group stage games.

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