Atalanta and Roma face off in Serie A on Sunday with both sides looking to boost their chances of a top-four finish this season (5pm kick-off, UK time).
Atalanta XI: Gollini; Djimsiti, Romero, Toloi; Hateboer, De Roon, Freuler, Gosens; Malinovskyi, Pessina; Zapata.
Roma XI: Mirante; Mancini, Smalling, Ibanez; Karsdorp, Pellegrini, Veretout, Spinazzola; Mkhitaryan, Pedro; Dzeko.
Roma are currently fourth but just a point ahead of Napoli and Sassuolo in fifth and sixth respectively in what is one of the closest Serie A seasons at the top of the table. Atalanta, however, have not enjoyed their domestic campaign so far, sitting eighth after 11 games.
Where to watch Atalanta vs Roma on TV:
- UK: Premier Sports 2
- US: ESPN+
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Scoreline prediction: Atalanta 2-2 Roma
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Atalanta vs Roma build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
One of Serie A’s top four last season, 2020/21 has been a campaign for forget for Gian Piero Gasperini’s side who are already 10 points behind early leaders Milan after 11 games, although they do have a game in hand on the teams above them.
This comes despite their blistering start to the season, winning their first three games to lead the early table before consecutive defeats against Napoli and Sampdoria. Then a run of three games without a win and one postponed match saw them slip further down the table, but they have started to turn things around having drawn with Juventus in midweek.
Four points and four places above them in the table are Roma, who have won seven of their 12 matches so far (only AC Milan, Inter Milan and Napoli have gathered more wins in Serie A this season). For Roma, they have overcome a slow start and minor blips when going up against their fellow big sides, still waiting for a win after matches against Juventus, Milan, Napoli, Sassuolo and Verona.
But things are so tight at the top of the table that Roma could go as high as second with a win, or drop to sixth even if they draw.
- Atalanta (vs Juventus): Gollini; Djimsiti, Palomino, Romero; Hateboer, Freuler, De Roon, Gosens; Pessina, Malinovskyi; Zapata.
- Roma (vs Torino): Lopez; Mancini, Ibanez, Smalling; Peres, Veretout, Villar, Spinazzola; Pellegrini, Mkhitaryan; Dzeko.
Atalanta remain without Mario Pasalic who recently underwent surgery on a hernia and is expected to be out for up to five weeks. He is joined on the sidelines by Mattia Caldara
Roma were able to rest a lot of their players as the midweek game with Torino went on, so will be fresh going into the weekend’s match.
Players to watch:
- Atalanta: There is really only one story surrounding Atalanta at the moment, and that’s the future of Alejandro ‘Papu’ Gomez. The Argentinian fell out with manager Gasperini at half-time in their Champions League clash against Midtjylland and has started on the bench in the past two league games, coming on against Juventus in midweek. In the midst of that, reports have emerged claiming Gomez will look to move away from Atalanta in the upcoming transfer window, though the club will not allow him to do it for free. Regardless of the doubts surrounding his future, Gomez remains a star and is so important for Atalanta, making 191 appearances under Gasperini, more than any other player.
- Roma: Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been Roma’s main man this season, almost in a league of his own when it comes to importance for Paulo Fonseca. The Armenian is in his first season as a permanent Roma player, having spent last season on loan from Arsenal, and is both their top scorer and leading assist-provider. With seven goals and five assists, no player has been directly involved in more Serie A goals this season than Mkhitaryan, who is joined on 12 by another former Premier League star Romelu Lukaku (10 goals, two assists).
Serie a 2020/21 recent form:
- Atalanta: DWLDD
- Roma: WWDLW
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