Atalanta BC play their first ever Champions League match, with Dinamo Zagreb providing the opposition.
The only club to be making their debut in the competition this season, Atalanta will be looking to get off to a winning start at Stadion Maksimir ahead of upcoming matches against Shakhtar Donetsk and Manchester City in Group C.
Atalanta earned their place with only Juventus and Napoli finishing above them last season as they registered their highest-ever league finish, as well as reaching the Coppa Italia final.
Man City are the clear favourites in Group C, while Shakhtar and Zagreb have more experience at this level, Zagreb’s Champions League campaign ended in the qualifying rounds last year, but they did make it all the way to the last 16 of the Europa League and it took extra time for Benfica to finally squeeze past them out.
They made the group stages for the seventh time, although they have never progressed further than this and, like Atalanta, will be eyeing up second place in Group C.
They will need to improve their recent record at this stage; the Croatian outfit have lost each of their last 11 Champions League group games and have won just one of their last 27, losing 24 of those.
Domestic duties have gone significantly better last season’s title was their 13th in 14 seasons, and they have lost just one of their 14 outings this term, the defeat coming against Hajduk Split in a match which saw them reduced to nine men.
Duvan Zapata and Luis Muriel have three goals apiece from three games so far, and the duo even combined for one on international duty during Colombia’s 2-2 draw with Brazil with Muriel getting both goals.
The summer signing from Sevilla might be out due to a knee injury, there are no other injury concerns for Gasperini, with Timothy Castagne returning to the bench on Saturday after a meniscus problem.
Dani Olmo was linked with some of Europe’s biggest clubs after starring at the Under-21 European Championships this summer, to provide their main attacking thrust.
Zagreb possible starting lineup:
Livakovic; Stojanovic, Dilaver, Peric, Leovac; Gojak, Ademi, Moro, Orsic; Olmo, Petkovic
Atalanta possible starting lineup:
Gollini, Palomino, Kjaer, Masiello; Hateboer, De Roon, Freuler, Gosens; Ilicic, Gomez; Zapata