Wednesday, October 27
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Oct 24, 2021 at 11.30am UK
AtalantaAtalanta BC
Malinovskyi (56')
Lovato (76'), Pezzella (78')
Piero Gasperini (90+1')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Beto (90+4')
Samir (17'), Pussetto (58')

Preview: Atalanta BC vs. Udinese - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Atalanta BC vs. Udinese - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Serie A clash between Atalanta BC and Udinese, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

After midweek heartbreak in Europe, Atalanta BC return to domestic duty on Sunday, seeking a win over Udinese which will keep them among the front-runners in Serie A.

Following their Champions League loss to Manchester United, the Bergamaschi are now back on home soil, where they meet an ailing away side that has failed to win any of their last five matches.

Match preview

Despite suffering a 3-2 loss at Old Trafford on Wednesday, when they had been leading by two goals at half time, Atalanta remain live candidates for progression from Group F and are showing signs of life after an inconsistent start to the season.

Strikes from former Chelsea midfielder Mario Pasalic and then Juventus loanee Merih Demiral - whose loss through injury proved pivotal in the game's outcome - were not enough to secure a point in Manchester, but nonetheless reflect a fine first-half showing against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's expensively assembled side.

Gian Piero Gasperini had previously seen his injury-depleted team produce a convincing victory away to Empoli, with a Josip Ilicic brace helping La Dea to a 4-1 win and moving them up to sixth in the standings - just behind the Roman clubs.

Ahead of their return to home soil this weekend, Atalanta are unbeaten in seven games against their next opponents in Serie A, winning on six occasions. In fact, since 2018, the Bergamaschi side have only won more games and scored more goals than their 21 against Udinese versus Sassuolo.

Atalanta have also won their last four home games against the Zebrette, but Gasperini will not be complacent due to some worrying recent trends for his side.

They have conceded in each of their last four league games and, after their hot streak of seven consecutive home wins near the end of last season, the Nerazzurri have posted only one win in their last five home matches.

Though Udinese are still sinking down the standings after a previously positive start to the 2021-22 campaign, a pair of draws either side of the international break has stopped the rot after three straight defeats without finding the net.

Following their dramatic 3-3 thriller with Sampdoria earlier this month, the Fruilani had Roberto Pereyra sent off in the first half versus Bologna last time out, but still salvaged a point thanks to Beto's late goal.

The summer signing netted his second successive strike for his new club at the Dacia Arena, and offers head coach Luca Gotti some hope of finding a regular scorer for a side which has toiled in front of goal during recent years.

Gotti has been impressed with what he has seen so far from the Portuguese forward, highlighting him as "special, different from the others," and looks set to place his faith in the promising 23-year-old more often.

Udinese will need all the penalty-box prowess they can muster during the coming week, as after meeting Atalanta on Sunday, they follow the midweek visit of Verona with a trip to Milan, to face reigning champions Inter.

Atalanta BC Serie A form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W

Atalanta BC form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L

Udinese Serie A form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • D

Team News

Having started ahead of compatriot Duvan Zapata on Wednesday, the hosts' Luis Muriel will be keen to keep his place from the start against Udinese. The former Zebrette striker - who bagged 15 goals in 57 league appearances for Sunday's opponents - has scored nine times in 11 matches against them since leaving Udine - making them his favourite target in Serie A.

The rest of Gian Piero Gasperini's squad has been diminished by a series of recent injuries though, with Merih Demiral's injury adding to a growing defensive crisis at the club, as captain Rafael Toloi is still struggling with a muscular problem and will be assessed before kickoff, and Berat Djimsiti remains out of commission too.

In addition, midfield regular Matteo Pessina - plus wing-backs Hans Hateboer and Robin Gosens - will miss out for Atalanta, who experimented with Marten de Roon dropping into the back three at Old Trafford and may continue his trial there by necessity. Matteo Lovato - a summer buy from Verona - should also start.

Udinese will be without two influential players themselves, as Gerard Deulofeu came off with a foot injury last week and is sidelined - Ignacio Pussetto should replace him up front - and Roberto Pereyra must serve a suspension for his sending off against Bologna.

In Pereyra's absence, Tolgay Arslan could start in a three-man central midfield as part of Luca Gotti's customary 3-5-2 formation.

Atalanta BC possible starting lineup:
Musso; De Roon, Palomino, Lovato; Zappacosta, Koopmeiners, Freuler, Maehle; Pasalic; Ilicic, Muriel

Udinese possible starting lineup:
Silvestri; Becao, Nuytinck, Samir; Molina, Arslan, Walace, Makengo, Stryger Larsen; Pussetto, Beto

We say: Atalanta BC 2-0 Udinese

Though absences may force Atalanta to improvise in terms of their lineup - and a Champions League hangover is a possibility - the Nerazzurri still have enough in their locker offensively to see off a modest Udinese side also short of key men.

They may run out of steam in the second half, but the hosts are set to score at least twice against their out-of-form opponents and seal maximum points at the Gewiss Stadium.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data

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