Gian Piero Gasperini's side finished fourth in Serie A last term, above the likes of Lazio, AC Milan and Inter but have suffered a difficult start to this season.
They kicked off the league campaign with defeats against Napoli and Roma - two sides competing in the Champions League this season - but bounced back to beat Sassuolo at the weekend and should move above their 13th place in the table soon.
Similarly, the Toffees have already lost to two of England's elite sides - in the shape of Chelsea and Tottenham - but did nick a point against Manchester City.
On the evidence of those three games, the Premier League's top six is looking as difficult to breach as ever – yet a drop from last season’s seventh place unlikely. That means a good run in this competition can be treated as a priority.
Here's everything you need to know about their first game:
What time does it start?
The game kicks off at 6pm (BST) at Mapei Stadium. Atalanta are playing their Europa League matches 120 miles away at the home ground of fellow Serie A side Sassuolo while their own stadium is being renovated.
Where can I watch it?
BT Sport 2 will be broadcasting the game.
It’s a big game for…
Sandro Ramirez. The 22-year-old arrived at Goodison Park this summer with a big reputation following an impressive season at Malaga. Everton have looked short on goals up front so far and some fans will already be ruing the decision to sell Romelu Lukaku – despite all the money they received. Ramirez could go some way to calming their fears for the season ahead by getting off the mark on Thursday night.
Player to watch…
Alejandro Gomez. The dimunitive Argentine was Atalanta’s top scorer last term, netting 16 goals and making 12 assists from midfield. An adept dribbler with a low centre of gravity, Gomez is quick to squeeze out of tight spaces and not afraid of knocking one in from long range. Everton’s midfield will have to be alert.
Atalanta to win: 7/5
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