Betting preview: Man United vs Atalanta – Italians can add to Solskjaer’s troubles

Despite a successful summer transfer window, Manchester United are already back in crisis. A loss to Atalanta could nudge Ole Gunnar Solskjaer closer to the exit door.

The Red Devils will be looking for only their second win in six games when they welcome Atalanta to Old Trafford.

The Manchester outfit fell to a 4-2 defeat against Leicester last weekend while their opponents thrashed Empoli 4-1 away from home.

With United third in their Champions League group, the pressure is beginning to mount. Can Solskjaer's men put their worries behind them or will Atalanta fuel the growing fire in the red side of Manchester?

When, where and how to watch

When: Wednesday, October 20, 8:00pm BST

Where: Old Trafford

How to watch: BT Sport

Follow this game live via our score centre

Best bets for Man United vs Atalanta

Atalanta draw no bet at 11/5

Both teams to score at 40/85

Duvan Zapata to score anytime at 6/4

Recent Premier League defeats to Aston Villa and Leicester City have seen Manchester United drop to sixth in the league table - level on points with West Ham and Everton but behind Tottenham and Brighton.

If that wasn't enough, September's defeats to the Hammers and Young Boys mean that United are already out of the Carabao Cup and under mounting pressure in the Champions League.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following the Premier League match at the King Power Stadium, Leicester.

We may only be three months into the new season but the situation at Old Trafford certainly looks worrying - especially for manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

According to reports, the Norwegian boss still has the backing of the board. That is predominantly because the club's final league positions over the years have improved, their points totals have increased, and a lot of good recruitment work has been done.

However, with the club only managing two wins from seven against - no disrespect - smaller opposition, the future doesn't look bright for Solskjaer.

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after the final whistle of the UEFA Champions League, Group F match at Old Trafford,

Nevertheless, United will be looking to build some much-needed momentum ahead of a tricky run of fixtures.

Atalanta arrive at Old Trafford as leaders in Group F thanks to their haul of four points from two games. A win over United would certainly propel them into pole position for qualification.

Atalanta players celebrate after a goal during Empoli FC vs Atalanta BC

Gian Piero Gasperini's side have been punching above their weight for a number of years and there's no reason why they couldn't give the Red Devils a real run for their money.

Atalanta are unbeaten on the road in 11 straight games, last suffering defeat against Real Madrid back in March. Now that's a run we can get behind.

Last time out in the Champions League

Man United 2-1 Villarreal (September 29, 2021)

After a goalless first half, both teams eventually kicked into gear in the second.

Paco Alcacer opened the scoring in the 53rd minute to put the Europa League winners ahead.

However, United were able to mount a comeback with Alex Telles equalising in the 60th minute and Cristiano Ronaldo scoring the winner deep into stoppage time.

Atalanta 1-0 Young Boys (September 29, 2021)

Atalanta did something Man United couldn't when they picked up all three points against Young Boys.

Matteo Pessina's second-half strike bagged the win for the hosts who went top of the group.

Last 10 Champions League games

Manchester United

Wins: 4

Draws: 0

Losses: 6

Goals for: 18

Goals against: 17

Atalanta

Wins: 4

Draws: 3

Losses: 3

Goals for: 14

Goals against: 14

Back both teams to score

Whether it's in Europe or in the league, the both teams to score bet has worked its magic in games featuring Manchester United and Atalanta.

Six of the last eight United and Atalanta games have seen the bet land as both teams struggle to balance defensive and offensive duties.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gestures towards the fans at the final whistle following the Premier League match at the King Power Stadium, Leicester

For United, it's the defensive issue which is more alarming. Solskjaer's men have conceded eight goals in five games - half of them coming against Leicester City.

The Italian outfit, meanwhile, have scored 11 goals in their last five - with nearly half of that total coming against Empoli last weekend.

With goals flowing for and against, the both teams to score market cannot be overlooked.

Champions League progression is not for everyone

Progressing past the Champions League group stages is a big deal for Manchester United. The club haven't been in the knockout stage of the competition since the 2018/19 season.

On that occasion, it was Barcelona who knocked the Red Devils out with a 4-0 aggregate victory.

Atalanta, meanwhile, are knockout stage regulars having progressed past the groups for two years running.

Head Coach Gian Piero Garperini (Atalanta) during the Italian football Serie A match Empoli FC vs Atalanta BC on October 17, 2021 at the Carlo Castellani stadium in Empoli

Gasperini's men were knocked out in the quarter-final stage by PSG back in 2020. Last season, it was Real Madrid who sent them packing with a 4-1 aggregate win.

The Italian side will now be looking to make it a hat-trick of knockout stage appearances - an astonishing achievement considering that up until 2017, they had gone 26 years without continental soccer.

Goalscorer bets

The obvious bet in the goalscorer market is Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Manchester United striker has bagged 18 goals in his most recent 23 Champions League appearances against Italian opposition.

However, with the hosts preparing for a crunch Premier League clash against Liverpool at the weekend, there's always the possibility of Solskjaer resting the Portuguese international.

Duvan Zapata (Atalanta) against Petar Stojanovic (Empoli) during the Italian football Serie A match Empoli FC vs Atalanta BC on October 17, 2021 at the Carlo Castellani stadium

With regards to Atalanta, Duvan Zapata is the man to watch.

The 30-year-old Colombian scored on his last two Atalanta appearances and has already bagged four Serie A goals this term.

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