Gian Piero Gasperini’s Atalanta will be confident of securing their tenth victory on the bounce as they travel to Serie A leaders Juventus on Saturday night.
La Dea have been in spellbinding form either side of the restart – with Gasperini’s unorthodox system often overwhelming opponents – and they leapfrogged Inter to move into third following their most recent victory over Sampdoria on Wednesday night.
Juventus, meanwhile, failed to capitalise on Lazio’s 2-1 defeat at Lecce on Tuesday as their vulnerabilities were laid bare in their 4-2 defeat at Milan.
The Bianconeri currently hold a seven-point lead in the race for the Scudetto and they’ll take a giant leap towards an unprecedented ninth title on the spin with victory in Turin on Saturday night.
When is Kick Off? Saturday 11 July What Time is Kick Off? 20:45 (BST) Where is it Played? Allianz Stadium TV Channel/Live Stream? Premier Sports 1
There’s no doubting Paulo Dybala and Matthijs de Ligt will slot back into Maurizio Sarri’s side after the pair missed the Milan defeat through suspension.
Aaron Ramsey, Blaise Matuidi and Douglas Costa, meanwhile, could all return to the starting XI but
Mattia De Sciglio, Merih Demiral and Sami Khedira all remain out for the Bianconeri.
Gasperini has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the weekend’s trip to Turin and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the innovative Italian name an unchanged XI from the Sampdoria victory for this one.
Juventus: Szczęsny, Cuadrado, De Ligt, Bonucci, Sandro; Bentancur, Ramsey, Rabiot; Costa, Dybala, Ronaldo.
Atalanta: Gollini; Toloi, Caldara, Djimsiti; Hateboer, Frueler, Pasalic, Gosens; Ilicic, Zapata, Gomez.
Juventus overcame a tricky start following calcio’s resumption last month to win four Serie A on the bounce – with Sarri’s return to a 4-3-3 leading to more efficient attacking displays.
However, the Bianconeri fell to the most un-Juve like of defeats against Milan last time out as they surrendered a 2-0 lead in the matter of five second-half minutes before Ante Rebic secured a 4-2 comeback victory for the Rossoneri.
They will, however, be buoyed by the returns of De Ligt and Dybala in this one.
Atalanta, meanwhile, have emerged as the hottest outfit on the continent either side of the three-month hiatus. Rafael Toloi and Luis Muriel’s late strikes against Sampdoria last time out secured their ninth win in a row as Gasperini’s men go about assembling a late Scudetto assault.
La Dea have already picked up impressive victories over Lazio and Napoli since the restart and will close the gap at the top of the table to six points if they snatch victory on Saturday night.
Here’s how these two have fared in their last five outings:
Juventus Milan 4-2 Juventus (07/07) Juventus 4-1 Torino (04/07) Genoa 1-3 Juventus (30/06) Juventus 4-0 Lecce (26/06) Bologna 0-2 Juventus (22/06)
Atalanta Atalanta 2-0 Sampdoria (08/07) Cagliari 0-1 Atalanta (05/07) Atalanta 2-0 Napoli (02/07) Udinese 2-3 Atalanta (28/06) Atalanta 3-2 Lazio (24/06)
The returns of arguably their two best performers this term will undoubtedly be a boost for the hosts, but Atalanta will still fancy their chances of taking their winning streak into double digits.
With their aggressive man-marking, fierce counter-press and spellbinding rotational play down the flanks, La Dea are a special outfit to watch and their high-risk, high-reward approach has certainly paid off as of late.
You can expect goals in this one and it wouldn’t be a shock to see the visitors blow away the league leaders on Saturday night.
Prediction: Juventus 1-3 Atalanta