Preview and Prediction
La Vecchia Signora eventually stumbled last Tuesday. It may not give much impact to their current position on the table but it could affect their mentality. Cristiano Ronaldo and Co surely would prefer to seal the title immediately, and that is still possible indeed, especially considering their contenders’ latest shocking results too, so that seven-point gap still remains. Yet, winning the title by relying on others is certainly not something Juventus look for. They want as much control and domination as possible on their hand. That should start with their next fixture against Atalanta, the most entertaining teams in Serie A this season. Three points would definitely bring them closer to glory and begin switching their focus for the Champions League next month.
The teams’ previous matches
Maurizio Sarri’s men had the most unexpected result earlier this week on their travel to San Siro, Milan. Their old contender, AC Milan dismantled them 4-2 despite being two goals behind. Juventus took the lead first comfortably by Adrien Rabiot’s drive after his solo run followed by Cristiano Ronaldo’s strike. Yet, the turning point began on 62nd minute as Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a screamer through a penalty. Four minutes later, the equaliser came with Ibrahimovic’s assist to Frank Kessie, who rifled into the back of the net. The host seemed to be giving Juventus no time to recover as Rafael Leao turned things around with his goal one minute later. Finally, Ante Rebic bagged the last goal to secure a massive win for Rossonero.
Alejandro Gomez and Co’s positive trend endured in the midweek. They have been able to win with clean sheets three times consecutively while beating Sampdoria 2-0. Rafael Toloi and Luis Muriel scored the winning goals.
Maurizio Sarri is well-known for his persistence of deploying 4-3-3. He did modify it to 4-3-1-2 occasionally. Paulo Dybala who was absent in the previous outing against Milan will be back on starting IX with Cristiano Ronaldo upfront. Federico Bernadeschi or Aaron Ramsey might get a pick depending on Sarri’s preference later, 4-3-3 with Bernadeschi plays wide or 4-3-1-2 with Ramsey is given number 10 role.
Gian Piero Gasperini tends to employ 3-4-1-2 or 3-4-2-1. He would pick either the Colombian internationals Luis Muriel or Duvan Zapata as the main frontman with Papu Gomez behind them alongside Ruslan Malinovsky or Mario Pasalic which could help winning the ball in the midfield before passing it Papu Gomez to create space to score.
Players to watch
The captain Alejandro Gomez is certainly one of the key figures in Atalanta. The 32-year old Argentine has scored six goals and provided fifteen assists so far. Another notable key man to watch is the German wing back Robin Gosens who often stuns the opponents with his shots and crosses.
Juventus vs Atalanta Prediction
Playing behind closed doors as now should give Atalanta an advantage to have less pressure on the stands and enjoy the game while hoping to stun the home side. It is the challenge they should accept for their own campaign for Champions League spot and really shake Juventus’ confidence so that the title race is back on, provided Lazio does not slip again. The whole Serie A fans support Gasperini’s men to prevent the competition from turning into a dull one.
In this supposedly tight clash, the host is priced to win at 2.00 whereas Atalanta is in the win market at 3.50. The odds for a draw result are only at 3.70.