Atalanta injury blow to key defender as players rested before Liverpool

Atalanta could be without a key defender when they host Liverpool in the Champions League on Tuesday.

The Reds will travel to Italy sitting top of Group D having beaten both Ajax and FC Midtjylland in their opening two European Cup fixtures.

Their opponents, meanwhile, sit second on four points and present what is likely to be the toughest test so far for the Premier League champions on their European group stage travels.

Gian Piero Gasperini’s well-drilled attacking unit are coming into the match flying high in Serie A, second only to AC Milan.

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However, star left-wingback Robin Gosens – who was linked with a switch to Chelsea this summer – might be unavailable in what would be a huge blow.

The German defender is suffering with a calf problem and had to be removed from the Atalanta squad ahead of their 2-1 win over Crotone on Saturday.

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During that match, Colombian striker Luis Muriel scored twice before being brought off at half-time to be rested ahead of the Reds’ visit.

Argentina international and attacking midfielder Papu Gomez was also brought off during the interval as Gasperini looked to give some of his key stars a break before their Champions League contest with the six times winners.

The manager used all five of the substitutions available to him during that game.

Elsewhere, Liverpool’s next opponents have several longer term injuries hindering them at the moment too.

Midfielder Marten de Roon is unavailable while centre-back Mattia Caldara and centre-forward Marco Tumminello are also out.

The Reds do, of course, have a number of injury problems themselves but Jurgen Klopp will be hoping the likes of Thiago Alcantara and Joel Matip will overcome their repsective injuries to be available for selection.

Liverpool will be looking to return back to Anfield clutching all three points having cemented themselves at the top of Group D with a real chance of progression following a win on Tuesday night.

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