Written By Onyeka Daniel

At the Gewiss stadium in Bergamo, it will be an epic battle as Atalanta come up against AS Roma in their 36th round of match in the Italian Serie A. Italian referee, Marco Guida will be in charge of proceedings from the centre from this important clash. Both teams are currently locked together in fifth place, the last spot available for Champions League qualification, and the home side have a game in hand against Fiorentina.

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It will not be played until June 2 due to European and Cup commitments. It’s going to be a tough month for Atalanta because after this clash, they will be facing Juventus in the final of the Coppa Italia next week Wednesday, then back to League action against Lecce before facing Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League Final on the 22nd.


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For Roma, it even holds more importance as this is their only chance of making it into the UCL, and this sentiment was echoed by their manager in his pre-match interview. “We know how important this match is for us and for them,” De Rossi told the official Roma social media channels.

“Atalanta are in good shape, but also probably the only team who played more games than we did this season. We could feel the fatigue at times, but we prepared the best way we could in just 48 hours since the emotionally and physically intense encounter with Leverkusen,” continued De Rossi.

“Obviously, we would’ve preferred to be in a similar state of mind as Atalanta. They deserved to reach the Europa League Final, whereas we did not. I think we did very well, both legs could’ve gone differently with a bit more luck, but the best team got into the Final. “That is a different tournament, we have to shrug off the after-effects and remember how much is at stake in this match.”

Paulo Dybala was only on the bench for that game due to a muscular problem and hasn’t even made the trip to Bergamo with the rest of the squad. “I have two or three doubts for my line-up caused by fitness levels, as there are players with a lot of games in their legs, but we also know for the first time we won’t have another for five or six days afterwards.

“This is going to be a decisive match, we must try to win. If we don’t, there will be other opportunities, but it could be a crucial moment.” Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini has been in Bergamo for eight years and truly moulded the team into his image, while they have also qualified for the Coppa Italia Final. “Gasperini is one of the most innovative coaches and his style has now inspired so many.

“He will be remembered as someone who changed football by giving a new, modern approach to something that already existed,” explained De Rossi. “I remember when I was still a player asking if I could watch Gasperini’s training sessions, because I already had in mind becoming a coach in future. Atalanta are unique and inspired many coaches.” He further added.

Style Of Play

Gasperini usually favors the 3-4-3 formation that can switch to a 3-4-2-1 to give them a greater attacking threat upfront. This is the major reason why they usually score plenty goals, especially when they have things going in the right direction. For De Rossi, the 4-3-3 formation is the go to formation, but depending on the players available and the opponents, there could be some tweaking (like giving Dybala a free role, allowing Cristante to play closer to the centre-backs and often times switching to two centre-forwards).

Recent Form

For Atalanta, they’ve won 10 of their last 20 games played across all competitions, with 5 draws and 5 losses too. They’re also unbeaten in their last 6 games, since after that loss to Liverpool in the Europa League with 5 wins and one draw.

For Roma, they’ve 10 wins, 6 draws and 4 losses, but unlike their opponent, they’re currently winless in their last 4 games with three draws and one loss. They will be hoping to snap out of this bad run of form with a win, especially if they hope to play UCL football for next season.

Head To Head

Surprisingly, Atalanta have had an edge over their opponent recently, with 8 wins as against 5 wins for the Giallorossi in their last 20 games played against each other while 7 has ended in a draw, including their meeting in the first leg at the Stadio Olimpico, last year July.

Players To Watch

Italian striker, Gianluca Scamacca is having a great run in front of goal recently and the chances of him being on the score sheet for Atalanta is very high, so also for the likes of Ademola Lookman, Charles De Ketelaere, Teun Koopmeiners and Mario Pasalic. For Roma, they will be banking on Romelu Lukaku for goals while the likes of Leandro Paredes, Lorenzo Pellegrini and Bryan Cristante will offer support from the midfield.

Atalanta Possible Starting Lineup: Carnesecchi; Scalvini, Hien, Djimsiti; Zappacosta, Ederson, Pasalic, Ruggeri; Koopmeiners, Lookman; Scamacca

Roma Possible Starting Lineup: Svilar; Celik, Mancini, Ndicka, Angelino; Cristante, Paredes, Pellegrini; Azmoun, Lukaku, El Shaarawy

Injuries And Suspensions

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The home side will have three players missing for this encounter, Emil Holm, Rafael Toloi and Senad Kolasinac. For the away side, they could be missing their creator-in-chief, Paulo Dybala after he picked up a knock recently and Leonardo Spinazzola through injury.


Both teams will want to go for the win in this match for several reasons, from the fact that head to head is the decider when teams are tied and after playing 1-1 draw in the first leg, there is all to play for, plus Atalanta also have a game in hand. Should probably end in a draw (1-1 or 2-2).

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