Atalanta take on the visitors Rakow in the round 1 match of UEFA Europa League group stage. The match will be played on Thursday, September 21st at Gewiss Stadium (Bergamo).
Atalanta returns to the European arena.
In the season before last, the Bergamo team saw a sharp decline in their performance. A club that had become a regular in the Champions League finished outside the top six. However, in the 2022/2023 season, under the guidance of coach Gasperini, they managed to secure fifth place after being out of international competition. Even though they couldn't break into the Champions League quartet, even with Juventus's penalty. Now, the team, which has undergone its usual summer overhaul, will test its strength in the Europa League. In addition, La Dea has already had a decent start in Serie A, although they've also faced some losses. It remains to be seen how the coaching staff will prioritize and whether they will provide game time for the reserves.
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Raków makes its debut in the group stage of an international tournament. The Red and Blues have crowned their progress in recent years with a historic victory in the Ekstraklasa last spring. As a result, the Poles headed to represent their country in the Champions League qualifiers. There, they performed admirably. Unlike previous years when they were eliminated by the second opponent in the Europa League qualifiers, this time they successively eliminated Flora, Qarabag, and Aris (Limassol). Only the experienced Copenhagen proved slightly stronger in the decisive round. The Danes won 1-0 in Czestochowa, and a draw in the Lions den was enough for them to advance to the Champions League group stage. David Schwarg's team will also be competing at the international level, but in the Europa League.
Raków made their debut in European competitions just the year before last. It's not surprising that they are visiting Bergamo for the first time. With all due respect to the determined Poles, the hosts are significantly stronger and more experienced. Let's bet on Atalanta's victory with a -1.5 goal handicap.
Prediction for the match: Atalanta to win with -1.5 handicap.