Atalanta begin their quest to win the Coppa Italia for the first time in over 50 years when they host Cagliari in the last-16 on Thursday (8.15pm kick-off, UK time).
La Dea won their only Coppa Italia to date in 1963 but were beaten finalists as recently as 2019 and may fancy their chances of finally getting a second cup win, finding form going into the second half of the season.
How to live stream Atalanta vs Cagliari online:
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Where to watch Atalanta vs Cagliari on TV:
- UK: BT Sport 1
- US: ESPN+
Scoreline prediction: Atalanta 4-1 Cagliari
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Atalanta vs Cagliari build-up, pre-match team news & previous lineups:
Atalanta have had a strange season, starting well but then tailing off from mid-October to the start of December, which saw them drop as low as ninth in the league. However, they have re-found their form going into the New Year and this game.
Gian Piero Gasperini’s team are now unbeaten in their past nine games across all competitions, securing their spot in the last-16 of the Champions League and moving up to fifth in Serie A, just two points behind fourth-placed Juventus. They have also won their past three games, scoring at least three goals in each of those matches, looking closer to the side which earned admirers from around Europe last season.
Atalanta have already beaten this week’s opponents by a hefty margin, winning 5-2 at the start of the season, and Cagliari are struggling. In the league, they are just two points above the relegation zone after 17 games with just three wins, and they winless in 10.
Across all competitions, Cagliari’s last win came in the fourth round of the Coppa Italia, beating Hellas Verona 2-1 towards the end of November. Nine games have followed since then, including four straight defeats. Not good form to be taking into a game against Atalanta.
- Atalanta (vs Benevento): Gollini; Toloi, Romero, Palomino; Hateboer, Freuler, De Roon, Gosens; Pessina; Ilicic, Zapata.
- Cagliari (vs Fiorentina): Cragno; Pisacane, Godin, Walukiewicz, Lykogiannis; Sottil, Oliva, Marin; Nainggolan; Simeone, Joao Pedro.
Mario Pasalic and Matteo Ruggeri are the only absentees for Atalanta due to injury while Papu Gomez continues to be left out of the squad and is unlikely to play even with rotation.
Nahitan Nandez is available for Cagliari in the cup despite still serving a two-game suspension in Serie A, but Paolo Farago and Marko Rog remain out.
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Players to watch:
Atalanta: Should Gasperini rotate this week, as many of his fellow managers have so far done in the Coppa Italia, Luis Muriel could be given a chance to shine from the start. The Colombian is Atalanta’s top scorer in Serie A this season, netting his 10th goal of the campaign in the win over Benevento, despite starting just five times. With 454 minutes on the pitch, Muriel averages a goal every 45 minutes in the league and goes into this game in good form. The Colombian has scored in each of his past five games (six goals), starting just two of those matches, and has remarkably scored in six of his eight starts across all competitions this season.
Cagliari: Joining Muriel on 10 goals from the Cagliari squad is Joao Pedro, and he will be hoping he can carry his side into the quarter-finals. The 28-year-old has been at Cagliari since 2014, but has only really found his eye for goal in the past 18 months. Since the start of 2019/20, Joao Pedro has scored 29 goals in 58 games across all competitions, at least 12 more than any other player. Like Muriel, Joao Pedro goes into this game in good goalscoring form, netting four in his past four matches, though he did fail to score in the weekend’s defeat to Fiorentina.
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