Lazio welcome Atalanta at Stadio Olimpico on Saturday evening in a crucial clash for the top four race in Serie A. La Dea are still in fourth place, despite winning only one of their last four, while Maurizio Sarri’s are eight, despite beating Salernitana 3-0 last time.
Where and when: Stadio Olimpico – 22 January, kick-off 19:45
Where you can see Lazio vs. Atalanta: BT Sport
Last time: Marten De Roon’s last-gasp equalizer earned Atalanta a 2-2 draw at Gewiss Stadium in the last meeting between those teams back in October. Pedro and Ciro Immobile were on target for Lazio, while Duvan Zapata scored the other goal for La Dea.
Lazio v Atalanta Predictions and Preview
Atalanta’s long-awaited clash against defending champions Inter didn’t match the expectations, as the game ended in a goalless draw, which was not necessarily a bad result for any of those sides. However, it means that Atalanta failed to get closer to Simone Inzaghi’s men, while at the same time La Dea allowed the chasing pack to get closer in the race for Champions League spots.
Gian Piero Gasperini’s men sit in fourth place with 42 points, just one point above fifth-placed Juventus, but La Dea also have a game in hand after their clash against Torino was postponed. Still, the Bergamo outfit must bounce back quickly, after winning just one of their last four league games – a 6-2 trashing over Udinese.
Howver, this will not be easy, as Atalanta travel to Rome for a clash against Lazio on Saturday evening and Gasperini will have to do so without several key players. Duvan Zapata, Robin Gosens and Joakim Maehle are all injured, while Rafael Toloi, Ruslan Malinovskiy and Josip Ilicic are recovering from Covid.
Maurizi Sarri also has his issues with Covid, as Jean-Daniel Apka Apro, Toma Basic, Andre Anderson and Stefan Radu all tested positive, while Francesco Acerbi, Mattia Zaccagni and Pedro are recovering from injuries. This means that Sarri will be forced to play almost the same starting XI that beat Udinese 1-0 after 120 in the Coppa Italia on Tuesday.
Ciro Immobile, Danilo Cataldi and Elseid Hysaj are almost certain to start against Atalanta, after coming off the bench against the Friulani, with Immobile scoring the winner in extra-time. The Italian striker netted a brace for the 3-0 victory over Salernitana last week and is now leading the capocannoniere race with 17 strikes, so Atalanta should be extremely careful.
Lazio have only one victory in their last six meetings with Atalanta, but home advantage might make the difference, so a victory for the Biancocelesti can be backed up at 11/5. The first game between those teams ended in a draw and a repeat of that scenario this time is available at 13/5, while despite their unconvincing displays lately, Atalanta are 23/20 favourites to get the three points on Saturday evening.
One to watch for Lazio: Ciro Immobile’s brace against Salernitana means he has now overtaken Dusan Vlahovic in Serie A’s top scorer race. The Lazio skipper has already banged 17 goals in the current campaign and is 4/1 to break the deadlock against Atalanta this weekend.
One to watch for Atalanta: Mario Pasalic has netted eight times from midfield for Atalanta this term. Considering that top scorer Duvan Zapata is still struggling with muscular issues, watch out for Pasalic to score the opener against Lazio on Sunday at 12/1.
Long shot: Two of the last five meetings between these teams have ended in 1-1 draws, including their last game at the Gewiss Stadium. A repeat of that scoreline this weekend is available at 13/2, while the odds rise to 56/1 if you add Mario Pasalic as the first scorer.