New Serie A leaders Juventus are back where they want to be with a seventh consecutive fast becoming the expectation.
The Bianconeri have the chance to extend their lead at the top, but it won’t be easy against a tidy Atalanta side. Gian Piero Gasperini has built a talented and well-drilled team and it should be an entertaining watch.
Where and when: Allianz Stadium – 14 March, kick-off 17:00
Where you can see Juventus vs. Atalanta: BT Sport, William Hill live streaming
Last time: The two sides only met a fortnight ago in the Coppa Italia semi-final, where Juventus typically found a way to clinch the tie. Miralem Pjanic scored the only goal of the match, taking the holders through to yet another cup final where they will face Gennaro Gattuso’s rejuvenated Milan team.
Juventus v Atalanta Predictions and Preview
The Juventus juggernaut keeps on rolling after racking up an astonishing 11th league win on the bounce when they beat Udinese 2-0 on Sunday afternoon. Momentum undoubtedly shifted to the Scudetto holders after the fallout of game week 27, and the Bianconeri are once again the favourites for the title.
Impressively, the hosts are still challenging on three fronts and Max Allegri has done a fine job of getting the best out of a squad ravaged by injuries. The tactician will definitely be without wide man Federico Bernardeschi while Juan Cuadrado is also out. Mario Mandzukic returned to the match day squad against Udine, though Douglas Costa should keep the Croatian out after an impressive display against Tottenham Hotspur.
Defensively, the innovative Italian boss may freshen things up and full-backs Kwadwo Asamoah and Stephan Lichtsteiner could come in to contention. Rather surprisingly, and fairly, the duo were credited with swinging the outcome back in the Bianconeri’s favour in London, and despite a late flurry, Spurs had no answers to the smart tactical switch.
Star strikers Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala will take their places up front and both men are expected to hit the back of the net on Wednesday evening. Dybala is 8/2 to strike first and notch a 22nd goal in all competitions this campaign, while the Bianconeri are the favourites for the clash at 9/20.
Travelling party Atalanta are still in European contention for next term but have Sampdoria and a revived Rossoneri team currently ahead and La Dea can ill afford any more slip ups between now and May.
Central to Atalanta’s hopes of picking up something from the fixture is Bryan Cristante. The Italy international has caught the eye of a host of clubs, both domestically and on the continent, and has double figures for the year. Cristante is 21/2 to bag last while La Dea are 6/1 to clinch all three points.
One to watch for Juventus: Gonzalo Higuain is in red-hot form and the obvious choice to make his mark on proceedings. The Bianconeri spearhead also looks fitter than last term and is available at 3/1 to get on the scoresheet first.
One to watch for Atalanta: Ilicic will lead the line in an unorthodox striker’s position, despite behind more of an attacking midfielder. The Slovenian has had a good season on a personal level and he is good value at 12/1 in the anytime scorer market.
Long shot: La Dea have built on last season’s extraordinary efforts and look at home in the top-half of the table. While Gasperini’s squad seldom get punished heavily, they too struggle to put away the opposition, and this was sadly on display in the heartbreaking Round of 32 second-leg against Borussia Dortmund. Nevertheless, the Bergamo based club have it in their locker to trouble Juventus and a 3-2 triumph for the visitors is available at a mighty 100/1.