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Atalanta will face Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday in the 2023-24 UEFA Europa League final. While the team coached by Xabi Alonso are clearly the favorites considering they are still unbeaten this season in all competitions and just won the 2023-24 Bundesliga title, Gian Piero Gasperini's boys have a chance to make history. In front of around 12,000 fans coming from Italy, Atalanta want to shock the world and snap that 51-game unbeaten streak. But how can they?

First of all, Atalanta need to be extra careful in the opening minutes of the final. The Nerazzurri lost 1-0 to Juventus in the Coppa Italia final on May 15 after conceding the opening goal to Serbian striker Dusan Vlahovic four minutes into the game. This is a mistake Atalanta can't make again, and learning from last week's game would be a good starting point. On the other hand, Atalanta like to keep the control of the game but that's probably not the best strategy against Bayer Leverkusen, who usually dominate both games and ball possession. 

Europa League final: Atalanta vs. Bayer Leverkusen

Date: Wednesday, May 22 | Time: 3 p.m. ET
Location: Aviva Stadium -- Dublin, Ireland
TV: CBS Sports Network Stream: Paramount+

Atalanta probably would prefer to wait and play on counterattacks thanks to the quality of wingers and their central midfielders, despite the absence of captain Marten De Roon who left the pitch against Juventus injured and won't be available on Wednesday. De Roon's absence will force Gasperini to start both Ederson and Mario Pasalic in the midfield, players that can bring the quality necessary to support Teun Koopmeiners and Charles De Ketelaere behind Gianluca Scamacca, who comes back after missing out on the Coppa Italia final due to a suspension. 

The game will likely see its key part played on the wings, as both teams have two strong fullbacks. Atalanta will likely start Matteo Ruggeri on the right and Davide Zappacosta on the other side, but they will need to be really careful as Leverkusen can count on Alex Grimaldo and Josip Stanisic in the same roles. If Atalanta are able to stop the wingers, they have a chance to make it. Otherwise, it can become really dangerous considering the season Xabi Alonso's boys are having. 

Last, but not least, the Nerazzurri can finally see their attacking players at the best of their conditions in the most important game of their recent history, as both Scamacca and De Ketelaere will be starting. In particular, Scamacca is a key player for the side coached by Gasperini, as he wants to shine after a successful season where he scored 18 goals in 41 games in all competitions so far. The Italian side managed to win 3-0 away at Anfield against Liverpool in one of the most exciting games of the year. Scamacca's brace and the late goal scored by Pasalic made history and increased the expectations ahead of the final in Dublin. Winning against this Bayer Leverkusen can become the most incredible success of this club's history, also considering that it would mean their first-ever European trophy and their first title since 1963, when they won their only Coppa Italia. 

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