Round Two: Attacking Clinic
If we get a match even half as exciting as the first leg of the Europa League Round of 16 between Atalanta and Leverkusen, it’ll be an incredibly watchable affair.
Atalanta are taking a 3-2 lead into the second leg but will be haunted by some notable choke jobs in the Champions League Group Stage. That said, the soccer odds slightly favor Bayer Leverkusen heading into Thursday but Atalanta are still the favorites to advance.
Let’s check the latest news, stats, injury reports, and Europa League odds for Leverkusen vs Atalanta. We’ve plenty of predictions for you to consider.
Leverkusen Bogged Down by Injuries
Bayer Leverkusen fell at home to Koln 1-0 on Sunday despite coming into the match as -145 favorites. Kingsley Schindler’s goal made the difference in a match that stung for Leverkusen in more ways than one. Florian Wirtz, one of their most productive players this season, suffered an ACL tear in the match that will keep him out for the rest of the season.
Jeremie Frimpong was also subbed off in the match with an ankle injury that’s worth monitoring in the lead-up to Thursday’s match. The injury list for Leverkusen is a long one and also includes star striker Patrik Schick, winger Karim Bellarabi and midfielder Robert Andrich.
Leverkusen are winless in their last three matches in all competitions and were shut out at the weekend for the first time in 12 matches. However, they did get a big ATS win for betting online by drawing with Bayern Munich 1-1 a couple weekends ago.
Muriel Again Key for Atalanta
In one of the most absurd streaks in soccer, Genoa drew their seventh consecutive match and held Atalanta scoreless on Sunday. It was exactly the type of match in which Atalanta needed all three points and they came in as -300 favorites. In fifth place in Serie A, Atalanta have taken just five points from their last five league matches.
During that five game span, they’ve been shutout three times and have lost to fellow European competitors Roma and Fiorentina. One of the most inconsistent soccer picks in recent months, Atalanta have also dealt with their fair share of injuries.
Striker Duvan Zapata has been out since February while Aleksei Miranchuk picked up a hip flexor injury last week vs Leverkusen. There’s also no timetable for second striker Josip Ilicic’s return due to personal reasons. In Luis Muriel, Atalanta still have a huge goal threat, but he may be relied upon a little too much in upcoming weeks.
Leverkusen vs Atalanta Head-to-Head
Atalanta were victorious vs Bayer Leverkusen last week in Bergamo as +110 favorites. The match was the first-ever meeting between the two clubs and what a thriller it was.
Charles Aranguiz opened the scoring for Bayer Leverkusen, but Atalanta’s Luis Muriel bagged a double and Ruslan Malinovskyi got a goal and assist as Atalanta won 3-2.
Leverkusen vs Atalanta Game Information
- Game: Atalanta at Leverkusen
- Location: BayArena, Leverkusen, Germany
- Day/Time: Thursday, 1:45 p.m. ET
- Live Stream: fubo.tv
Leverkusen vs Atalanta Betting Lines
|Bayer Leverkusen||pk -140||+130||3 -110o||1½ -105o |
|Atalanta||pk +110||+185||3 -120u||1½ +120o |
Leverkusen vs Atalanta Prediction
Bayer Leverkusen are a pick’em at home, where they’ve won just three of their last six matches in all competitions. Atalanta, on the other hand, have an excellent record away from home this season but they’ve won just one of their last four road matches.
At +130, Leverkusen are being given less than a 50 percent shot of winning in 90 minutes. That makes sense given how they’ve performed without Schick this season. The Czech striker has 20 Bundesliga goals this season, but Leverkusen have averaged just a goal per game in the six league matches he’s missed.
They’ve also been a completely average pick for online gambling when he’s been out, and have a 2-2-2 overall record in such games.Yes, they did score two goals at Atalanta last week without him and Atalanta are notoriously inconsistent at both ends of the field.
Just look at Atalanta’s last six games for proof. They’ve been shut out three times and scored three or more goals in their other three matches. There has been a positive trend in their defensive record, though. The last match vs. Leverkusen was the only time in the last eight matches that they’ve allowed more than one goal.
Without Schick or Wirtz to contend with, I think Atalanta will hold Leverkusen to under two goals, so Bayer Leverkusen under 1½ is my pick of the match and I’d take it up to -135.
Pick: Bayer Leverkusen Under 1½ (-125)