Serie A Clash Gigantesco!

By Jack Latham

A huge clash is coming this weekend in Serie A, between two teams vying for a coveted spot in Europe next year. 

Atalanta welcome Roma to the GEWISS stadium on Sunday May 12 in a battle between 5th and 6th. 

Both teams sit on 60 points and only four points behind surprise package Bologna, who travel to Napoli on Saturday. Both sides will be hoping to reach the Champions League with only one point separating the winner from Bologna. 

Atalanta will come into the game off the back of a Europa League second leg against Marseille, whilst Roma travel to face the unbeaten Bayer Leverkusen, with a two goal deficit facing them. 

Atalanta like to operate in a 3-4-2-1 formation, with rampaging wingbacks Hans Hateboer and Davide Zappacosta hoping to cause the Roma defence problems. Their main goal threat comes from the former West Ham United striker Gianluca Scamacca, with the Italian grabbing 10 goals in his 25 appearances this season. 

Another danger comes from the link up between Charles De Ketelare and central attacking midfielder Teun Koopmeiners, with the former playing just in behind Scamacca. The Dutch midfielder was rested for last weekend’s game against bottom side Salernitana, with hopes that his creativity can damage Roma. 

For Roma, their danger lies in the front two of Paulo Dybala and Romelu Lukaku, with the duo combining for a total of 35 goals across the 2023-24 season. Lukaku comes into the game in a little form, after scoring against Juventus at the weekend. 

The away side have conceded four more goals than their opponents in Serie A but will be hoping that the return of Evan N’Dicka can shore up their defence.  

The Italian sides have had major success in Europe this season, meaning the Serie A will receive six European places next year. This opens the door for either Atalanta or Roma to reach the Europa League even if they finish in 6th place. 

In their last five games against each other Roma have won two games, Atalanta have won two games and they have drawn one. Roma have only won two of their last five games whilst Atalanta are on a three-game winning streak. 

In terms of their managers, the home side are led by the experienced Gian Piero Gasperini, who has managed the side since 2016. In charge of Roma is former player Danielle De Rossi, who took over from Jose Mourinho at the midway point of the season. 

With both sides still going in Europe it may come down to the respective benches to settle this game. Atalanta normally turn to Aleksei Miranchuk, with the talented Russian liable to opening up tired defences. 

For Roma, De Rossi is boosted by the return of Tammy Abraham who can trouble any defence with his physicality and runs in behind. De Rossi also has the option to bring on Nicola Zalewski and Renato Sanches, with the former offering directness in the latter stages of games.

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