Manchester United go up against Atalanta this week and have to try and contain in form attacker Duvan Zapata.

The Colombian scored his 100th Serie A goal at the weekend in Atalanta’s 4-1 victory over Empoli.

Zapata now has a record of four goals and two assists in six Serie A games this season, contributing a goal per game.

Atalanta BC v AC Milan - Serie A
(Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)

Speaking after notching his century of strikes at the weekend, Zapata told TMW: “ [When] I arrived in Italy, I would never have imagined reaching this record. I am happy for myself and for the career I am doing, I hope to continue like this.”

Zapata will not give Manchester United an easy ride, that is for certain.

Last season in Serie A, Zapata scored 15 goals and provided nine assists as he helped Atalanta into third place, and the year prior he scored 18 times.

He is yet to net in either of Atalanta’s opening two Champions League games, but may fancy his chances against Manchester United’s weakened and under performing defence – and he does have two assists in the competition so far this season.

Those two assists make it eight goal contributions in eight appearances this season.

 

Zapata key to Atalanta

Atalanta’s attack is what makes them so dangerous ahead of the trip to Old Trafford. Josip Ilicic is back in form after scoring five goals in his last three games for club and country.

After previous spells at Napoli, Udinese, and Sampdoria, it is at Atalanta where Zapata has kicked on.

He has an affinity to a former close rival of United, and will no doubt love the chance to turn the screw on the under performing Red Devils.

Empoli FC v Atalanta BC - Serie A
(Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

Zapata told Gazzetta dello Sport previously: ““When I was a kid, I was always watching the Premier League – I was an Arsenal fan! I got up early every weekend to watch their games.

“I was in love with Thierry Henry’s Arsenal. In Colombia, we love the Premier League. Who knows, one day I could play there.”

An injury in 2019 denied Zapata a chance to face Manchester City at The Etihad in the Champions League. This time he has a second chance to star in Manchester, and he will be determined to make it count.

Manchester United’s defence will have to be hugely improved to keep him out.

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