Everton v Atalanta background
Eliminated already from UEFA Europa League Group E after registering just one point in four matches, Everton take on an Atalanta side poised to prolong their first European campaign for 27 years into the spring.
• The Italian club will be through to the round of 32 with a win or draw. Even a defeat at Goodison Park would not delay their progress unless Apollon Limassol win the other group fixture at Lyon.
• Atalanta’s first encounter with English opponents resulted in a 3-0 win against Everton in Reggio Emilia on matchday one. First-half goals from Andrea Masiello, Alejandro Gómez and Bryan Cristante set the tone for the two clubs’ campaigns.
• Everton’s record in seven games against Serie A sides is now W1 D2 L4, although they have yet to be beaten by Italian opposition at home (W1 D2).
• The Toffees failed to score in the first five of those games, finally making the breakthrough with a 2-0 home win over Fiorentina in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup round of 16 second leg (although they ended the evening by losing on penalties).
• Everton have not won any of their last five European encounters (D2 L3); they have lost four of their last seven home fixtures in the UEFA Europa League group stage.
• Atalanta are unbeaten in Europe this season (W2 D2) and have not lost a UEFA fixture outside Italy since 1989. Nevertheless, the Bergamo club have only ever won one away fixture in European competition – 1-0 against Fenerbahçe in the second round of the 1990/91 UEFA Cup.
• Seventh in the 2016/17 Premier League, Everton had previously qualified from all three UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League group stages in which they had taken part.
• Fourth in Serie A last term, Atalanta are back in Europe for the first time since 1990/91, when they were eliminated by Internazionale Milano in the UEFA Cup quarter-finals.
Links and trivia
• The journey from Bergamo to Liverpool is around 1,250km.
• Everton’s Wayne Rooney was a UEFA Europa League winner with Manchester United last season.
• Everton goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg played in Serie A with Roma from 2011–13.
• Atalanta midfielder Marten de Roon played in the Premier League with Middlesbrough last season; he featured in a 3-1 away defeat and a 0-0 home draw against Everton.
• On-loan Atalanta goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini was also in England last season, playing with Aston Villa in the second tier. He was formerly a trainee at Manchester United, on the Old Trafford books at the same time as Rooney.
• Everton’s Morgan Schneiderlin is ineligible for this game after receiving a red card against Lyon on matchday four.
• Suspended for next match if booked: Andrea Masiello, Josip Iličić (Atalanta).
• Everton are seeking a new permanent manager following the departure of Ronald Koeman on 23 October. Former Everton defender David Unsworth has been in charge on a temporary basis.
• A one-time Juventus youth player, Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini mostly played in Italy’s lower divisions but worked his way up to the top tier as a coach, leading Inter, Genoa and Palermo before taking the job in Bergamo in 2016.