Following a midweek spent following the drama from round five of the Champions League and Europa League group stages, football fans return to domestic action. The top leagues from across Europe resume, and there’s plenty for followers of the beautiful game to get excited about heading into the weekend. A match catches our eye in Italy as Juventus aims to continue their fightback in Serie A when playing host to Atlanta. The former rulers of Italian football lost their crown last season and started this campaign slowly but are fighting back, and fans hope to see another win here.
Juventus are outside of the top four, sitting down in midtable, but two wins in their last two starts has helped rejuvenate their season and confidence is returning to the squad. They lost Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United in the summer transfer window, and those left behind struggled to fill those big shoes. Juve holds the home advantage for this game, and know a third win on the bounce would help drive them up the table.
These teams last met in the Coppa Italia back in May when Juventus sealed a stunning 2-1 win despite many writing them off on the back of a poor season. They were worthy winners of that match at the MAPEI Stadium but will require plenty more of that fighting spirit if they are to claim a crucial three points from this renewal. Will the home team get the job done, or can Atalanta cause an upset by leaving with the points?
Juventus start down in eighth
Juventus fans suffered a season to forget last time as they finally released their grip on Italian football and the Serie A. They failed to put up any kind of a fight, leaving it to the teams from Milan to battle it out for supremacy. It was feared that we had witnessed the beginning of the end for Juventus when Ronaldo departed for Manchester, and there’s no doubt they are a weaker team without CR7 on hand to pull them out. They looked miles off the pace in the early rounds of the Serie A season and managed to win only four of their first 11 outings. Fans feared the worst, knowing the players had to deliver a fightback soon if they wanted to remain in the hunt for a top-four finish.
Thankfully for supporters of Juventus, the team finally got back to winning ways following a poor run. They followed back to back defeats with two wins on the bounce and enter this game looking to nail a hattrick of wins that would signal their intent and show they are serious about competing for the major places. We may only be in November, but a title win already looks out of the question for Juventus as they are 11 points behind current leaders Napoli and AC Milan, although both sides are without a win in their last two starts. Could there be any life left in Juve’s challenge? Perhaps, but only if they win this match.
Six points from the last six available to them came thanks to wins over Fiorentina at home and Lazio on the road, keeping a clean sheet in each. The points remain the most important thing at this stage of the season, far more important than performances due to the club’s need for wins, but the coaching staff will be pleased by the improvement shown in the defence. That sturdy backline will be crucial in this match if they are to make it a third win in a row, a result that could lift them to fifth place.
Atalanta enjoy an unbeaten run
Most Serie A pundits will be focussing on the recent improved form shown by Juventus, but we shouldn’t overlook the winning ways of Atalanta. The visitors travel looking to complete a hattrick of wins themselves, having claimed maximum points from their last two Serie A matches, and they are in the hunt for a top-four finish and place in next season’s Champions League. Atalanta may be the visitors, but they are higher in the league than their hosts, have more wins on the board and show much better recent form, remaining unbeaten in their last five games.
Atalanta are fourth in the Serie A pecking order, sitting seven points behind the leaders who have stumbled in recent games. Their stats for the season show Atalanta have seven wins, four draws and two defeats, scoring 27 goals but conceding 17. They have won three and drawn two of their last five matches, including those victories in their previous two league starts. Atalanta will arrive at Juventus confident they have what it takes to win the match, pushing them closer to pole position in the league while damaging the chances of a rival in the process. They have every right to be confident too.
We last saw Atalanta in league action a week ago when beating Spezia 5-2 at home. That was a game they were expected to win, but the players deserve credit for doing the job in style, scoring five goals and putting on a show. That win followed a hard-fought 2-1 victory achieved away at Cagliari, showing this side can win in style or roll up their sleeves and dig out the victory.
Juventus v Atalanta prediction
This is an intriguing match as, on their day and when playing their best football, both Juventus and Atalanta are capable of winning this game and treating armchair fans to a thrilling match with plenty of goals scored. The locals remain something of a mystery this season as they are much lower in the table than expected but are improving, scoring goals and keeping opponents out.
In the last six matches between Juventus and Atalanta, both teams have scored in five games, and it would come as no surprise to see them do the same again. Does Juventus still have any of their old spark left to win this match? Toppling a side as good as Atalanta takes a big effort, but it would show they are heading in the right direction and a worry for any opponent, especially when backed by the home support.
Serie A odds
Juventus are priced at odds of 2.165 with 22bet to win this match, or there’s 3.34 available if you would rather back Atalanta. The draw is 3.42.
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