Atalanta’s Champions League group decider against Villarreal has been postponed until Thursday due to a massive snowfall in Northern Italy.

Atalanta - Villarreal snow
Players went out to warm-up ahead of the match, but the ref finally decided to postpone the encounter by a day. (Image: Twitter/cbssportsgolazo)

The snowstorm started at 8 pm CET, an hour before the game was supposed to kick off. The pitch was quickly covered with snow, which the organizers could not clear in time to start the match. The match was delayed by 20 minutes before referee Anthony Taylor decided that minimal playing conditions couldn’t be met. The clash was rescheduled for Thursday at 7 pm CET.

The outcome of the game will determine which team in Group F will join Manchester United in the knockout stages of the Champions League. Heading into the match, Atalanta sits third in the group, one point behind Villarreal.

Manchester United drew 1-1 at Old Trafford against Young Boys on Wednesday evening, but they were already certain to top the group. Swiss champions Young Boys Bern finished at the bottom with five points.

Atalanta needs to win in order to progress to the Round of 16 in the Champions League. They are at -140 to beat Villarreal on Thursday, with the Spanish side at +380, and a draw at +300. Even if they lose, Villarreal won’t lose contact with Europe this season, as the third place in the group guarantees qualification in the Europa League.

Villarreal won the second-most important European club competition last season after beating Manchester United on penalties.

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