Atalanta vs Roma Preview and Lineups – Serie A Round 18

Saturday’s Serie A action gets underway at the Gewiss Stadium as Atalanta and Roma go head-to-head in a mouth-watering showdown. Seeking their first top-four finish since 2017/18, the Giallorossi will be looking to throw a spanner in their hosts’ efforts to land their maiden Serie A crown.

Atalanta’s hopes of dethroning reigning champions Inter have received a couple of leg-ups in the build-up to this fixture. La Dea have come from behind to win their previous two Serie A matches, including a hard-fought 2-1 away victory over Hellas Verona last time out. They are now six points adrift of pacesetters Inter, on whom they also have a game in hand.

In the meantime, Roma claimed a comprehensive 2-0 triumph over 17th-placed Spezia last time out to halt a run of successive Serie A defeats without scoring. Despite their stop-start top-flight campaign under new boss Jose Mourinho, the Giallorossi are still within touching distance of fourth-placed Napoli.

Atalanta vs Roma Head-to-Head

Since falling to a narrow 1-0 home loss to Roma in August 2017, Atalanta have gone unbeaten in seven consecutive top-flight H2Hs (W4, D3) despite failing to keep a clean sheet in the last three in a row. Curiously, all of their previous five league H2Hs have seen the home team on the day concede a first-half opener. 

After a run of two wins from nine Serie A H2Hs in Bergamo (D3, L4), Atalanta have won their last two such contests by an aggregate score of 6-2. However, La Dea have failed to keep Roma at bay in their previous 11 top-flight encounters on home turf, conceding an average of 1.72 goals per match in that sequence. 

Considering they are already enjoying their longest-ever undefeated Serie A streak against Roma, Atalanta will be fancying their chances against Mourinho’s underperforming side.

Atalanta Form Preview

Coming into this matchday, Atalanta have gone unbeaten in ten consecutive Serie A games (W7, D3), winning the last six on the trot by an aggregate score of 17-6. La Dea have turned a three-game winless Serie A home streak (D2, L1) into back-to-back victories in Bergamo, notably scoring 4+ goals in both triumphs.

Only top-placed Inter (48) have scored more Serie A goals than Atalanta (37) so far this season. Delivering action from the get-go, Gian Piero Gasperini’s men have scored 20 first-half goals in Italy’s top-flight this term. In turn, 50% of their Serie A home games so far have featured an opening inside the first 15 minutes of play.

Even if they fall behind, Atalanta should have enough character to bounce back. They have only lost two of seven Serie A fixtures in which they conceded the opening goal this season (W3, D2, L2). 

Roma Form Preview

After losing back-to-back Serie A matches ‘to nil,’ Roma brushed aside a 10-man Spezia last time out to put themselves in a position to win consecutive league games for only the third time this season. However, to do that, the Giallorossi will have to defy their indifferent away form this term.

Mourinho’s men have alternated between victory and defeat across their last five Serie A travels (W2, L3). Since four of those five fixtures featured a full-time margin of a single goal, we might be having another evenly-contested affair on our hands. But the signs are ominous for the traveling supporters.

Roma have failed to win any of their last 12 Serie A match-ups against sides starting the day inside the top-five positions (D6, L6), losing the last two in a row by an aggregate score of 5-1. Mourinho’s ‘park-the-bus’ reputation tends to go out of the window on the road as they’ve kept just two clean sheets in eight league away games this season.

Atalanta vs Roma Predicted Lineups

Atalanta (3-4-2-1): Juan Musso; Rafael Toloi, Merih Demiral, Jose Luis Palomino; Davide Zappacosta, Remo Freuler, Marten de Roon, Joakim Maehle; Matteo Pessina, Ruslan Malinovskyi; Duvan Zapata.

Roma (3-4-2-1): Rui Patricio; Gianluca Mancini, Chris Smalling, Roger Ibanez; Rick Karsdorp, Jordan Veretout, Bryan Cristante, Matias Vina; Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Nicolo Zaniolo; Tammy Abraham.