Serie A’s race for Champions League qualification is hotting up and Atalanta will be hoping to leapfrog Napoli into second when they welcome Benevento to Bergamo on Wednesday at 7.45pm (UK time).
As things stand, Atalanta currently sit third in the table but just three points above fifth-placed Juventus with only three games to go. Benevento meanwhile are fighting desperately as well, with Filippo Inzaghi’s side three points adrift of safety.
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Scoreline prediction: Atalanta 3-1 Benevento
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Atalanta vs Benevento build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
The Serie A title has been wrapped up by Inter Milan but the race for Champions League qualification is still very much alive, and Atalanta will be hoping to seal a top-four finish for the third season running to maintain their seat at the elite continental table.
The final three games are equally as important for Benevento who are fighting to remain in the division. Gli Stregoni have won just once since January 9, which incredibly came against then reigning champions Juventus, but Inzaghi will need to set his side on a war footing if they are to claw themselves away from danger this month.
- Atalanta (vs Parma): Sportiello; Djimsiti, Romero, Palomino; Maehle, De Roon, Freuler, Gosens; Ilicic, Malinovskiy; Zapata.
- Benevento (vs Cagliari): Montipo; Depaoli, Glik, Caldirola, Barba; Hetemaj, Schiattarella, Ionita; Insigne, Caprari, Lapadula.
Rafael Toloi is the only major injury concern for the hosts with a hamstring injury, while Inzaghi has a fairly extensive casualty list that includes the likes of Gabriele Moncini, Daam Foulon, Gaetano Letizia, Alessandro Tuia, Marco Sau and Iago Falque.
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Players to watch:
- Atalanta: For the third season straight, Gian Piero Gasperini’s side have hit over 100 goals across all competitions, truly living up to their moniker as Italy’s great entertainers. Influential in that scoring frenzy has been clinical Colombian Duvan Zapata, who fittingly makes his 100th Serie A appearance the next time he features for the club. In that time, the 30-year-old has established himself as a reliable goal-getter and proven difference-maker, netting 55 goals with Atalanta, which is more than any other player has produced in the three-points-for-a-win era at this stage of their careers for the club.
- Benevento: The immediate forecast is looking bleak and rather ominous for Inzaghi, whose side are dangling perilously inside the drop zone, and face one of the division’s most devastating and lethal attacking units, in Atalanta, as one of their final three games to save their season. Benevento are now at that stage of the campaign where every game is a must win, placing a huge emphasis on getting a result against an Atalanta side who simply cannot lose themselves, with Juve hot on their heels and a game against AC Milan on the final day fast approaching. The importance of Kamil Glik is hence illuminated to the nth degree, with the veteran Pole boasting the required experience, know-how and aggression to frustrate Atalanta and keep a lid on Zapata. It’s certainly a tall order, but Benevento must produce something on Wednesday to offer any chance of survival heading into matchday 37 and 38.
Serie A 2020/21 recent form:
- Atalanta: WDWDW
- Benevento: LLLDL
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