Atalanta To Draw Blood For Old Lady
Juventus v Atalanta
Seven points clear and seemingly unstoppable in their pursuit of another Scudetto, Juventus welcome Atalanta to Turin on Friday looking to take another step toward the title.
Last weekend’s 2-2 draw away to second form bottom Cesana was a poor result for Juventus by their lofty standards, a second time in three games the runaway leaders have been held by teams in the lower half of the table. Their position has rarely looked in question all season though, as Juve’s most likely title rivals, if they really exist, have failed to capitalise, and a record of a one defeat in their last 20 games – a penalty shootout Italian Super Cup loss to Napoli – speaks for itself. Massimo Allegri’s side remain unbeaten at home all season where they’ve dropped only four points.
The Old Lady also boast Serie A’s top scorer in Carlos Tevez who has 14 goals in the Italian top flight and 19 in total for the season.
With only one win in their last five games, and two in ten, while letting in seven goals in their last two games it’s little surprise to see Atalanta in the thick of the relegation battle, just a point outside the drop zone but the same distance from a trio of teams on 24 points. Despite possessing a defensive record which has seen only seven teams concede fewer goals on their travels, they’ve also won just once and scored fewer goals than any other side away from home in Serie A all season, with only seven scored in 12 on the road, and 20 in 23 overall.
Maxi Moralez’s tally of five goals leads the way in Atalanta’s goal-scoring charts this season, including his side’s only goal in their 4-1 hammering at home to Inter last weekend.
Martin Caceres is a major doubt for the hosts, with the defender likely to join Allesadro Matri, Luca Marrone, Romulo and Kwadwo Asamoah on the sidelines. Alvaro Morata should get the nod up front after scoring in each of his last three starts.
Atalanta boss Stefano Colantuono looks likely to be without a trio of defenders for their most demanding challenge of the season with Boukary Drame, Nicolo Cherubin and Cristian Raimondi all expected to miss out. Midfielder Marcelo Estigarribia remains sidelined for the visitors too.
Head to Head
Tevez hit a brace with Morata grabbing a third in a routine 3-0 win in Atalanta last September, a ninth win in a row against these opponents for the reigning champions, who have also kept clean sheets in four of the last five. Atalanta’s last victory against Juve came more than ten years ago in the Coppa Italia, with a last Serie A win coming in 2001, one of only two wins they’ve managed in the last 35 league meetings against the Bianconeri.
It’s impossible to see anything other than a comfortable home win here even if Juventus have one eye on a Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund four days later but at 2/11 you’ll have to look further than the match betting for value.
Despite their troubles, Atalanta have scored in all but one of their past nine matches and can do so again here.
The hosts class should prevail, though, so take both to score at an eye-catching 8/5 with each side getting on the scoreboard in a Juve win at 13/5.