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May 15, 2021 at 2pm UK
AtalantaAtalanta BC
Shomurodov (48', 84'), Pandev (67' pen.)
Rovella (88')
FT(HT: 0-3)
Zapata (9'), Malinovskyi (26'), Gosens (44'), Pasalic (51')
Djimsiti (62'), Toloi (71')

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

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

Atalanta BC travel to meet mid-table Genoa on Saturday with their destiny in their own hands, as the race to claim a top-four place approaches its climax.

While Gian Piero Gasperini's side remain on course for a best-ever league finish after back-to-back wins, the Grifone ensured their Serie A survival with midweek success in Bologna.

Match preview

Still battling it out with several sides to seal their third straight Champions League qualification, Atalanta have won eight of their last ten matches to sit second in the standings with just two games left to go.

Following hot on the heels of Sunday's 5-2 win at relegation-bound Parma, the Bergamaschi brushed aside Benevento on Wednesday night - a game in which they dominated the ball, with 72% of possession. That pressure resulted in a goal in each half, as top scorer Luis Muriel added his 25th goal of the season in La Dea's 2-0 win.

Having surpassed his previous best tally already, the Colombia international has played a significant role in helping his team to a league-leading total of 58 goals in 2021. Such sheer weight of strikepower - coming from all quarters of a talented and versatile squad - now sees Atalanta travel to Genoa on the penultimate weekend having posted 12 wins and just one loss from their last 16 Serie A matches.

Gian Piero Gasperini's men are, then, red-hot favourites to continue their fine form at Stadio Luigi Ferraris, as not only are they already in double figures for away wins this term, but they have also won seven of their last ten league encounters with the Ligurian side.

Gasperini returns to his previous home of nearly seven years as the only coach, since the turn of the century, to have overseen at least 150 games with two different Serie A sides - now with Atalanta and during two previous stints in Genoa's dugout.

Still fondly remembered at Marassi, the highly-regarded tactician oversaw a rare goalless draw for his free-flowing Atalanta outfit when these two teams last met back in January. On current form, though, a repeat seems unlikely, as the boys from Bergamo gear up for a grand finale in the coming days - versus Juventus in the Coppa Italia final; then a clash with local rivals Milan on the final day.

A 14th successive season of top-flight football was finally secured by Genoa on Wednesday evening, as they returned from Bologna with all three points after a 2-0 win at Dall'Ara.

Following his late consolation goal in last weekend's defeat to Sassuolo, wing-back Davide Zappacosta's 13th-minute strike gave the Ligurians a lead they would never relinquish against their fellow mid-table side - ensuring the Grifone would sit eight points above the drop zone; thereby confirming their safety.

While Davide Ballardini's side have certainly not been short of goals in recent weeks - the last time they drew a blank was against Roma in early March - they have picked up just eight points from the last possible 21 on home soil.

Nevertheless, Ballardini's fourth turn as Genoa coach - having taken over the reins again last December - has proved a relative success, as he has kept afloat a squad that looked doomed to the drop in mid-season.

Significantly, they have gone from conceding at a rate of over two goals per game to a seasonal average of 1.5 every 90 minutes since he took charge - now good enough for a top-half place in those particular rankings. However, keeping a rampant Atalanta side at bay on Saturday will prove one of his toughest tasks to date.

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

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

Team News

Italy centre-back Rafael Toloi is Atalanta's only major injury doubt ahead of Saturday's game, due to a thigh strain, and he is expected to miss out on a place in Gian Piero Gasperini's back line once again - with upcoming opponents Juventus and Milan no doubt keen to observe whether the coach persists with a recently-favoured four-man defence.

As the visitors have benefited from increasing squad depth this term, Gasperini may indulge in some rotation - given the sheer volume and significance of fixtures in La Dea's final fortnight.

Top scorer Luis Muriel has registered three goals in his last two starts, after temporarily moving back to the bench, so will again expect to start in support of compatriot Duvan Zapata up front. However, in-form Ruslan Malinovskyi, midweek goalscorer Mario Pasalic, plus Josip Ilicic and Aleksei Miranchuk are all vying for places too.

Genoa, meanwhile, may still have Domenico Criscito, Luca Pellegrini and Lennart Czyborra all sidelined due to injury, while Davide Biraschi recently saw his season ended due to a groin tear. Therefore, experienced centre-back Cristian Zapata may find himself marking his cousin, Duvan.

Veteran forward Goran Pandev has now started two matches in the space of four days, so the North Macedonia captain could make way for on-loan Juventus man Marko Pjaca, with Gianluca Scamacca and Eldor Shomurodov most likely to start in attack as Mattia Destro's playing time remains limited.

Like Gasperini, the hosts' coach Davide Ballardini opted for a switch to four at the back in midweek, but may revert to a less attack-minded setup than the 4-3-1-2 that overcame Bologna last time out, against a potent Atalanta attack.

Genoa possible starting lineup:
Perin; Goldaniga, C. Zapata, Masiello; Zappacosta, Zajc, Badelj, Strootman, Ghiglione; Scamacca, Shomurodov

Atalanta BC possible starting lineup:
Gollini; Hateboer, Romero, Palomino, Gosens; De Roon, Freuler; Malinovskyi, Pasalic, Muriel; D. Zapata

We say: Genoa 1-2 Atalanta BC

Atalanta's momentum surely cannot be stopped by Genoa on Saturday, as the Nerazzurri's high-energy team show no signs of slowing at the end of a long and arduous season.

Coming into what could be an historic seven days for the Bergamo club, the visitors will take care of business against a home side with little left to play for.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting an away 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.Away Win:data

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