Preview: Roma vs Atalanta – Team News, Lineups & Prediction

Stadio Olimpico forms the backdrop for a high-stakes Serie A encounter between top-four hopefuls Roma and Atalanta on Sunday night. With both sides lagging behind fourth-placed Fiorentina, it’s a potentially crunch meeting at the start of the new calendar year. 

Roma closed out 2023 on a sorrowful note, falling to a morale-damaging 1-0 defeat at Juventus. However, Jose Mourinho’s men come into proceedings in high spirits after getting 2024 off to a flying start. Despite trailing second-tier Cremonese at halftime, Giallorossi pulled off a stunning late comeback to win 2-1 in midweek Coppa Italia action. 

Mourinho, who praised Atalanta in the build-up, would probably have to use every trick from his playbook to inspire Roma to an all-important triumph. With a point separating his sixth-placed side from fifth-placed La Dea, coming out on top of this mouth-watering contest would not only lift Giallorossi up the ladder.

It could also be a season-defining moment for Roma. But Gian Piero Gasperini’s troops roll into town in a buoyant mood following an emphatic 3-1 Coppa Italia triumph against Sassuolo on Wednesday. Atalanta signed off for 2023 on a winning note, overcoming Lecce 1-0 on home turf to make it three wins in their last four Serie A games (L1).

Gasperini raised concerns about Atalanta’s busy schedule ahead of this trip. Fatigue could be a problem for the Bergamo outfit as they are in the midst of a hectic run of five fixtures in just over two weeks. Aware of the importance of the squad depth, Atalanta signed Isak Hien from Hellas Verona earlier this week.

Match Preview


Stadio Olimpico has been an awe-inspiring venue this season, inflicting fear into the hearts of visiting teams. Since a 2-1 defeat to Milan in September, Roma have racked up an eye-catching ten victories in 11 competitive home outings (D1), winning the last three in a row by a combined score of 7-1. 

That doesn’t mean they should take this encounter lightly. Mourinho knows better than to underestimate any opposition, especially Atalanta, after going down to a 1-0 scoreline in this corresponding fixture last season. That result forms part of Roma’s indifferent four-game home form against La Dea (W1, D1, L2).


Atalanta could win back-to-back away league matches against Roma for the first time since 1996. But there’s a catch. They must halt a disappointing three-game winless league streak on the road (D1, L2). Indeed, Gasperini’s men have lost their last two Serie A games outside Bergamo ‘to nil.’

Hien’s arrival should at least help plug holes at the back. Atalanta’s fragile backline has capitulated in four of their last five away league contests, conceding precisely three goals on two occasions. With their two most recent top-flight wins in Roma’s backyard accompanied by a clean sheet, maybe it’s time for a change of scenery.

Team News

Barring long-term absentees Chris Smalling, Tammy Abraham, and Marash Kumublla, Roma will be without Renato Sanches. The Paris Saint-Germain loanee has picked up an ankle injury amid speculation linking him with an immediate return to Ligue 1.

Meanwhile, Houssem Aouar and Evan Ndicka have left Italy for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations.

As for Atalanta, El Bilal Toure and Hans Hateboer are definite absentees. There are still question marks over the heads of Rafael Toloi and Jose Luis Palomino, but there’s a feeling both players will have to wait for their return to action a bit longer. 

Roma vs Atalanta Potential Lineups

Roma (3-5-2): Rui Patricio; Gianluca Mancini, Bryan Cristante, Diego Llorente; Rasmus Kristensen, Edoardo Bove, Leandro Paredes, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Nicola Zalewski; Paulo Dybala, Romelu Lukaku.

Atalanta (3-4-2-1): Marco Carnesecchi; Giorgio Scalvini, Berat Djimsiti, Sead Kolasinac; Davide Zappacosta, Marten De Roon, Ederson, Matteo Ruggeri; Teun Koopmeiners, Charles De Ketelaere; Gianluca Scamacca.

Roma vs Atalanta Prediction

Given the potential top-four implications accompanying this fixture, this might not be the most fascinating game of football. We expect a tactical battle between the two experienced managers, with a draw seemingly the likeliest outcome. 

Prediction: Draw

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