Atalanta took a two-goal lead at Old Trafford in the reverse fixture on October 20, with Mario Pasalic and Merih Demiral on the scoresheet, but Man United hit back in spectacular fashion, scoring through Marcus Rashford, Harry Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo to secure all three points on home soil.
The result has left the Italian outfit in third position in Group F, level on points with second-placed Villarreal and just two behind leaders Man United, which is an indication of the importance of Tuesday’s contest.
Atalanta have played three Serie A matches since the clash in Manchester, drawing with Udinese and Lazio, in addition to recording a 3-1 victory at Sampdoria, and a total of 19 points from 11 matches, collected through five wins and four draws, has left them in fifth position in the table.
Gian Piero Gasperini’s side have reached the quarter-finals and round of 16 in the last two seasons of the Champions League, but they have only won three of their nine home fixtures in the competition, one of which was a 1-0 success over Young Boys at the end of September.
The Italian giants will finish their Group F campaign with clashes against Young Boys (A) and Villarreal (H), and it will be fascinating to see how the section develops over the next few weeks, as all four teams will still be confident of challenging for a spot in the knockout round of the competition.
Man United, meanwhile, will enter the contest off the back of a 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Saturday night; the pressure was firmly on head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer entering the contest, but the Red Devils managed to secure all three points in impressive fashion.
A switch to a 3-5-2 formation worked well at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with Ronaldo, Edinson Cavani and Rashford on the scoresheet, and the win moved the 20-time English champions into fifth spot in the table, just three points behind third-placed Manchester City ahead of Saturday’s Manchester derby.
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Solskjaer’s side suffered a 2-1 loss to Young Boys in their Group F opener on September 14 but have managed to collect maximum points in their last two matches, coming from behind against Villarreal and Atalanta, with Ronaldo netting winners in both of the fixtures.
Man United are top of the section on six points but cannot consider themselves to be comfortable, and a defeat on Tuesday would leave the group wide open, with just three points separating the Red Devils from Young Boys in fourth.
The visitors, who finished third in their Champions League group last season, have won six, drawn three and lost 11 of their 20 matches away to Italian clubs in Europe, while they have been beaten in each of their last three away fixtures in the competition, losing to Istanbul Basaksehir, RB Leipzig and Young Boys