AS Roma make the trip to Bergamo on Saturday afternoon in the biggest test of the season away from home as Jose Mourinho side take on an in-form Atalanta at Gewiss Stadium.
AS Roma recorded a much important home win over Spezia on Monday evening, at times it was not pretty, but it was effective. Roma at times were laboured in possession and chances but got the goals at the right time and coasted to a home victory. The win on Monday was all that mattered, it was the result over performance.
Both goals came from set-pieces, Chris Smalling headed home from close range from a Tammy Abraham assist. Roger Ibanez headed home in the second half from a Jordan Veretout corner. It was a bit Deja-vu watching the performance on Monday to the Europa Conference game on Thursday in Bulgaria. There were similarities on how Roma switched off at the end and could have been punished more on Monday but due to wayward finishing and it could have been a different story. This is a frequent occurrence watching Roma recently, they think they can coast through games when the scoreline is in their favour, someday it will come back to bit them.
PREDICTED XI | ROMA (3-5-2)
Rui Patricio, Mancini, Kumbulla, Ibanez, Karsdorp, Veretout, Cristante, Vina, Mkhitaryan, Zaniolo, Abraham.
Atalanta are in excellent form going into this week 18 clash on Saturday afternoon, currently sitting in third in the Serie A standings with 37 points from the 17 games played. Atalanta are just two points behind second-place AC Milan.
Atalanta going into the game against Roma are unbeaten in their last ten in Serie A, the last defeat was a 3-2 home defeat to AC Milan back on October 3rd. Gian Piero Gasperini‘s side has been imperious and perfect in the last six Serie A games by winning them all.
After a slow start to the season which is the norm now for Atalanta and the fans, the side normally kicks into gear after the third international break, and we are seeing it now again. Cagliari, Spezia, Juventus, Venezia, Napoli and recently Hellas Verona have been all defeated. The latter against Hellas Verona was the hardest, Atalanta did not play well but had to dig deep and pick up a crucial away win against a vastly improving Verona side under Igor Tudor. Hellas Verona dominated the first half hour and could have been ahead by more before Atalanta equalised. In the second half, the home side started to tire and that worked perfectly for Atalanta as they picked them off for a crucial away win.
PREDICTED XI | ATALANTA (3-4-1-2)
Musso, Toloi, Demiral, Palomino, Zappacosta, De Roon, Freuler, Mahele, Pessina, Malinovskyi, Zapata.