The race for first place in Group E wraps up on Thursday when Atalanta welcome Lyon to Italy in a match between two sides looking to win this Europa League group.
Citta del Tricolore, Reggio nell'Emilia, Italy 07 Dec 2017 6:00 pm (GMT)
Key Stat: Neither side have lost in the competition so far, with each winning three times and drawing twice so far.
Expert Verdict: With both teams eager to not go into the tougher half of the bracket when the draw is made, this match could be a great one. Lyon will be on the front foot early, you'd think with their great attackers, but the Italian side can sit back and soak up some pressure. They don't necessarily need to win, and a draw would do them just fine.
Gian Piero Gasperini looks like he will have a full side at home as his team look to seal first place in the group on Thursday.
Atalanta have had a lot of heroes during this run to the knockout stages, but the play of Bryan Cristante has been above and beyond the rest. The midfielder has scored three times in the competition thus far, and has driven the tempo of matches constantly. The Italian has also been at it in Serie A this season and will look to keep that up at home to a surging Lyon squad.
Atalanta have two draws, two wins, and a loss in their last five matches:
1-1 draw at Torino
1-0 home win vs Benevento
1-5 win at Everton (UEL)
2-0 loss at Inter Milan
1-1 home draw vs SPAL
Defenders:Toloi, Masiello, Palomino
Midfielders:Hateboer, Freuler, Cristante, de Roon, Castagne
Bruno Genesio will be missing influential winger Bertrand Traore for this trip to Italy due to a knee injury.
Much like Alexandre Lacazette's days eventually came to an end at Lyon, Nabil Fekir's days are starting to look numbered. The Frenchman has blossomed into a fine attacking threat and has helped drag the team into second in Ligue 1 of late. Along with Memphis Depay's uptick in form, the club are flying. Fekir has 11 goals and four assists in league play and added his second goal of the tournament his last time out against Apollon.
Lyon have three wins, a loss, and a draw in their last five matches:
1-2 win at Caen
1-2 home loss vs Lille
0-5 win at Nice
4-0 home win vs Apollon Limasol (UEL)
0-0 home draw vs Montpellier
Defenders:Rafael, Marcelo, Morel, Marcal
Defensive Midfielders:Ndombele, Diakhaby
Attacking Midfielders:Aouar, Fekir, Depay
Atalanta and Lyon drew 1-1 back in September in the teams' only meeting to date. Bertrand Traore scored on the stroke of half time to give Lyon the lead at home only for Alejandro Gomez to equalize 12 minutes into the second period.
Bet365 have the following odds available for this match:
Atalanta are at 7/5 to win, a draw is at 9/4, and a Lyon win is at 19/10.
This match is very simple for both sides. A win for either one would take them through in to the knockout rounds when they begin in February. However, without a win for either team it does get tricky. Because they drew 1-1 in September, Atalanta would win first place if they drew either 0-0 or 1-1. This is due to a superior goal difference. However, if the draw were to be 2-2 or higher, then Lyon would be first place with more away goals in head to head matches.
Atalanta have won both of their home matches in this, their inaugural Europa League season. Overall, they have nine wins, two draws, and a loss. Their last home loss was the first match of the season to Roma. As for Lyon, they have four points from their two UEL group matches so far. Overall, their away record includes six wins, three draws, and a loss. They have won five away matches in a row heading into this match.
Lyon have been the busier side of late, having played more matches since the last international break. That could give the home side just the edge it needs here.
Both teams to score is set at 8/15 via Ladbrokes.
This is a tough match to call. Neither side have lost a match in Europa League play so far, and this match is going to be a real test for each. It's hard going against an Italian side that doesn't have to win, so a low scoring draw is likely.