Everton v Atalanta background

Eliminated already after taking just one point from four matches, Everton host an Atalanta side poised to prolong their first European campaign for 27 years into the spring.

Atalanta are closing in on qualification from Group E
Atalanta are closing in on qualification from Group E ©AFP/Getty Images

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.

Previous meetings
• 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).

Form guide
• 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.

Highlights: Atalanta 3-0 Everton
Highlights: Atalanta 3-0 Everton

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).

The coaches
• 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.