Atalanta v Paris Saint-Germain Betting Tips: Which side will become first semi-finalists?
Odds and preview ahead of tonight’s match
Rewind to September and Atalanta were looking forward to their first-ever match in the Champions League. Now they’re one win away from the semi-finals.
Standing in their way are Paris Saint-Germain, a team packed with superstars built to win the competition that has failed to progress past the quarter-finals this century.
A one-off tie in Lisbon awaits and while Atalanta will be wary of their opponents, particularly following the news that Kylian Mbappe could be fit to play, PSG will not take be taking Serie A’s top scorers lightly.
Who will be the first side to reach this year’s semi-finals?
PSG are the favourites to win on the night, with our traders pricing them at 21/20 to triumph in 90 minutes, while they’re odds-on at 4/7 to qualify.
Meanwhile, Atalanta are 11/8 to reach the semi-finals and 12/5 to win on the night. The draw is 27/10.
Both sides have been free-scoring in the Champions League this season. PSG won 5-0 twice in the group stage while Atalanta scored eight times over two legs against Valencia in the last 16. Over 4.5 goals tonight is going at 3/1.
Neymar has often been the hero in this competition and the Brazilian is 13/10 to bag anytime. Meanwhile, Mbappe is likely to start on the bench and he can be backed at 7/2 to be the last goalscorer.
For Atalanta, Josip Ilicic bagged four times against Valencia in their last game but the striker is expected to miss the match for personal reasons. In his absence, Duvan Zapata will need to step up and he is 3/2 to get on the scoresheet.
Having well and truly completed domestic football with seven league titles in the last eight seasons, PSG are desperate to win the Champions League.
Their Qatari owners have had their eyes set on it since taking over back in 2011 and have backed their various managers with big-name signings in recent seasons, most notably Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
But for whatever reason, things have never quite aligned for them and they have made a habit of crashing out at the quarter-final stage.
They may see this as their year, with no domestic football to worry about and a World Cup-style format bringing the competition to an exciting end.
The French giants should have their first-choice front three at their disposal, with Mauro Icardi looking to add to his 20 goals this season, while Neymar has been formidable once again despite an injury-hit campaign.
Kylian Mbappe’s season looked to be over after he sustained an ankle injury in the Coupe De France final back in July.
But the Frenchman is back and could be fit to play, although he’s expected to start on the bench.
A year ago, PSG would have been licking their lips at the thought of playing Atalanta to reach the Champions League semi-finals.
But they’d be wise not to count their chickens against the Italians. They looked to be the competition’s whipping boys after losing their first three group matches, conceding 11 goals in the process.
But Gian Piero Gasperini has masterminded a remarkable turnaround to go alongside their spectacular showing in Serie A, in which they finished as the league’s top scorers and kept the pressure on champions Juventus into the final weeks.
Their form was helped by the prolific form of Josip Ilicic, who is expected to miss out this evening.
But in Duvan Zapata and Luis Muriel, they have more than enough firepower to trouble PSG’s backline.
Both sides will fancy their chances and whatever the result, there will certainly be a story to be told.
PSG’s will be one of relief as they finally break their quarter-final curse.
Meanwhile, Atalanta’s will be a tale of the underdog, a side that silenced their critics and one that put themselves within touching distance of European glory in their first appearance in the competition.
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All odds and markets correct as of date of publication