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Champions League 2021-2022 | Villarreal-Atalanta: Afloat ten years later (21:00)

Both teams share a similar profile, since they are based in small cities, have a certain family bias and have grown a lot in recent seasons.

The memory of Villarreal’s last participation in the first continental tournament is not good, since the group stage ended without scoring, but the horizon is different at this time, among other reasons because Villarreal arrives rested after not having played in the league this weekend.

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Unai Emery, Villarreal coach, is watching the physical evolution of two players with specific weight in the team: Dani Parejo and Gerard Moreno. Both have overcome their muscular problems and it is very likely that they will be able to play.

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The doubt could be in the goal if Emery wants to alternate his goalkeepers and for this he gives entry to Sergio Asenjo to the detriment of the holder in the League, Gero Rulli.

The defense will have Juan Foyth, Raúl Albiol, Pau Torres and Alberto Moreno, to give way as midfielders to Éttiene Capoue, Dani Parejo and Manu Trigueros behind the attack that will make up Gerard Moreno, Boulayé Dia and Arnaut Danjuma.

In addition, Villarreal is looking for the first victory of the season, since so far they have played three league games and tied them all, as happened in the European Super Cup, in which they lost in the penalty shoot-out against him. Chelsea after having equaled the clash.

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Atalanta arrives settled among the greats of its country thanks to a brilliant economic and sports management, although its visit to the La Cerámica stadium comes at a delicate moment, complicated by the loss of Colombian Luis Muriel.

The absence of Muriel, who last year scored twenty-six goals in all competitions, took away the aim of Gian Piero Gasperini’s team, which in its last appearances in the European Cup reached the quarterfinals, falling to Paris Saint Germain, and the eighth, by surrendering to Real Madrid.

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Without Muriel, his compatriot Duván Zapata will be in charge of leading Atalanta’s forward, with the Ukrainian Ruslan Malinovsky and the Italian Matteo Pessina, European champion with the Italian team, who accompany him in the offensive game. The Cali forward, who scored nineteen goals last year, was on target in the league game against Fiorentina on Saturday, but could not avoid a 1-2 defeat at Gewiss Stadium in Bergamo.

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