Citta del Tricolore, Reggio nell'Emilia, Italy 14 Sep 2017 5:00 pm (GMT)
Key Stat: Everton have failed to score in their past two games, a 2-0 loss at Chelsea and a 3-0 loss at home against Tottenham.
Expert Verdict: Atalanta got back to winning ways against Sassuolo after two tough games to start their Serie A campaign. Gasperini has options up front as the Bergamo side return to European competition after 26 years in the wilderness. Home advantage might just be enough for Atalanta to earn a narrow victory.
Everton are in a bad run of form, albeit against two of the better sides in England. With a big game coming up against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday, Koeman might rotate his squad in Italy to freshen things up and give some of his players a chance to impress.
Leonardo Spinazzola is injured for Atalanta, Gian Piero Gasperini's only concern heading into the Everton match. With strikers Andreas Cornelius and Andrea Petagna both scoring against Sassuolo, the manager has options up front to partner captain Alejandro Gomez. Gasperini is likely to stick with the same side that defeated Sassuolo on Sunday.
Alejandro 'Papu' Gomez begins his fourth season at Atalanta, the 29-year-old Argentine forward coming off a standout season in 2016/17. The Atalanta captain was the main threat up front, scoring 16 goals and providing 10 assists in 37 appearances as Atalanta finished fourth in Serie A to clinch a Europa League spot.
Atalanta were unlucky in the opening day 1-0 loss against Roma, before a tough trip to Napoli ended in a 3-1 defeat despite leading 1-0 at half-time. Things weren't looking good against Sassuolo at 1-0 down, but goals to Andreas Cornelius and Andrea Petagna secured a 2-1 win to get Atalanta off and running in 2017/18.
Defenders:Toloi, Caldara, Masiello
Midfielders:Castagne, Cristante, de Roon, Gosens, Ilicic
Ronald Koeman is still without long term casualties Ramiro Funes Mori, Seamus Coleman, Ross Barkley and Yannick Bolasie. Everton's new signings have taken a little time to get going, with Gylfi Sigurdsson the latest acquisition after the club spent significantly on the squad in the summer.
Wayne Rooney could be rested before the Manchester United clash on Sunday, opening the door for Gylfi Sigurdsson to be the key man against Atalanta. After arriving from Swansea for £40m, Sigurdsson scored against Hajduk Split and performed well in Everton's two recent defeats. A return to a central attacking role is on the cards here where Sigurdsson can be more effective.
Everton got past Ruzomberok and Hajduk Split to qualify for the Europa League group stage, starting the English Premier League with a 1-0 win against Stoke and a credible 1-1 draw at Manchester City. However, a 2-0 loss at Chelsea was followed by a 3-0 defeat at home against Tottenham, with Koeman’s side continuing to struggle in finding their best formation and starting XI.
Defenders:Holgate, Keane, Jagielka, Baines
Defensive Midfielders:Besic, Davies
Attacking Midfielders:Lookman, Sigurdsson, Calvert-Lewin
These sides have never previously met on the European stage.
Atalanta are at 6/4, a draw is at 11/5 and an Everton win is at 15/8.
The bookmakers can't separate these sides with everything pointing towards a draw. With Atalanta winning their first home game against Sassuolo and Everton looking ordinary in the two defeats against Chelsea and Tottenham, there is value here for the home side at 6/4.
The quality of opposition Everton faced must be taken into consideration, but the weekend fixture at Manchester United is a concern for this fixture. Everton's four Europa League qualifying matches went under 2.5 goals, with their struggles in front of goal enough reason to doubt there chances here.
Everton are struggling to score, but Atalanta have enough fire power up front to earn a narrow win.