Atalanta v Everton background

Back in Europe after a 26-year absence, Atalanta are facing an exciting start to their Group E campaign, with Everton seeking a first win and goal in Italy.

Bryan Cristante celebrates an Atalanta goal
Bryan Cristante celebrates an Atalanta goal ©Getty Images

#EQUALGAME
This week, football fans watching UEFA Europa League matches in stadiums, online and on TV will witness the premiere of the new UEFA RESPECT TV ads, called #EqualGame. The adverts feature Ada Hegerberg, Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba, Cristiano Ronaldo and amateur players and will run throughout the season to promote inclusion, diversity and accessibility in European Football with the motto "Everyone has the right to enjoy football, no matter who you are, where you're from, or how you play." More information on the campaign and on the advertisements can be found in the accompanying media release and on the campaign website: www.equalgame.com.

Back in Europe after a 27-year absence, Atalanta are facing an exciting start to their UEFA Europa League Group E campaign, with Everton seeking a first win and goal in Italy.

Previous meetings
• The sides are meeting for the first time and it is Atalanta's first encounter with English opponents.

• Everton's record in six games against Serie A sides is W1 D2 L3, with defeats coming in all three of their past matches in Italy.

• The Toffees failed to score in the first five of those games, finally making the breakthrough in the most recent one – a 2-0 victory home over Fiorentina in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup round of 16 second leg (though they lost on penalties).

Form guide
• Atalanta are unbeaten in five European home matches (two wins, three 0-0 draws) since a 2-1 loss to Mechelen in the 1987/88 European Cup Winners' Cup semi-finals.

• Undefeated in four European games this season (W3 D1), Everton have lost only one of their last seven on the road in UEFA competition: W3 D3 L1.

• Fourth in Serie A last term, Atalanta are returning to Europe for the first time since 1990/91, when they were eliminated by Internazionale in the UEFA Cup quarter-finals.

• Seventh in the 2016/17 Premier League, Everton have made it through all three of their previous UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns, most recently in 2014/15.

Links and trivia
• The journey from Liverpool to Bergamo is around 1,250km.

• Everton's Wayne Rooney was a UEFA Europa League winner with Manchester United last season. He could yet emulate Radamel Falcao (Porto 2011, Atlético 2012) by lifting the trophy in successive seasons with different clubs.

• Everton goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg played in Serie A with Roma from 2011–13.

• Atalanta midfielder Marten de Roon was in England last term, playing in the Premier League with Middlesbrough: 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 books at Old Trafford at the same time as Wayne Rooney.

The coaches
• 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.

• Everton manager since 2016, Ronald Koeman won European Cups as a defender with PSV Eindhoven and Barcelona, and the 1988 UEFA European Championship with the Netherlands. He subsequently landed three Dutch titles coaching Ajax and PSV.