Atalanta’s second half collapse against Manchester United at Old Trafford was not helped by their injury problems.

While the Serie A side welcome back goalscorer Merih Demiral to the squad after he limped off at half-time in the first match, they remain without injured captain Rafael Toloi.

TMW reported last week that Toloi had returned to training and was expected to make his return in the weekend match with Lazio.

But Toloi was not even on the bench, and has not been included in their squad to face United.

FC Internazionale v Atalanta BC - Serie A
(Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images)


Atalanta’s official website lists a 21 man squad for the match, and Toloi is not included.

Demiral does feature, as does Jose Palomino, who had picked up a minor injury last week too.

Dilemma for Atalanta

Atalanta play a back three and Demiral and Palomino are expected to start the game. The question lies over who should get the third spot with Toloi unavailable.

One choice is inexperienced youngster Matteo Lovato, 21, who had a tough time in the second half at Old Trafford, and has just three appearances for the club to date.

The other is to move Maarten de Roon out of midfield and into defence, and this is more likely, as he has been playing this role in Serie A in recent weeks.

Toloi is a veteran at 31 who is an Italy international with more than 200 club games for Atalanta. His absence is a blow for a side who hoped to have him back for this fixture.

Manchester United v Atalanta: Group F - UEFA Champions League
(Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

The situation lines up well for Manchester United, and makes it even more tempting to select two centre forwards like the team did at the weekend.

Bruno Fernandes created eight chances in the comeback win at Old Trafford, and Atalanta struggled to cope with him as he put their defence under relentless pressure.

There are likely to be goals at both ends tonight, and United should be confident of breaking down Atalanta.

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