Atalanta v Juventus – Serie A
Atalanta have doubts over the fitness of Kessie and it would be a blow to lose the powerful midfielder, who has been an important player this season. He still has a chance of starting, but a place on the bench looks slightly more likely at present, while there is more positive news in the attack, with Gomez no longer a doubt and okay to start, ensuring the rest of the team is at full strength. Gasperini’s side will believe they can get something at home to the league leaders, believing they’re capable of matching the best on their day. Their excellent season has given them confidence and they’ll be really fired up in front of their passionate home support, aiming to cause a shock. A draw would represent a very good result, but a win would be really special. It’s important that they defend well and remain organized throughout, while they have been solid at the back in most games this season. However, they won’t be sitting back and will aim to cause some problems for Juventus, hoping they’re distracted by the upcoming Champions League semi-final. They’ll only open up if behind, not wanting to lose, while they’ll generally focus on keeping it tight.
Juventus will only be without Rugani and Pjaca, as Allegri has his strongest options available and Pjanic is back from suspension to strengthen the midfield. Allegri has stated he’ll play his strongest possible team, so Buffon, Dani Alves, Chiellini, Alex Sandro, Pjanic and Cuadrado are expected to come in after not starting the win over Genoa last weekend, boosting quality throughout the team. Confidence is high in the camp and they have a Champions League semi-final against Monaco to look forward to next week, but all their focus will be on this game first. Allegri has stressed that the Serie A title is not yet wrapped up, so they’ll be hungry to pick up all three points to move a step closer, although given their lead at the top, a draw wouldn’t be a bad outcome. They’ll look to take control and will hope to produce an efficient performance to come out on top against the spirited hosts. Complacency has to be avoided, with Atalanta capable of causing an upset, but Allegri’s side have the quality to come out on top. Comfortable sitting on one and two goal leads, they’ll look to tighten up if they get ahead. Their game management skills are very impressive.
Verdict & Prediction
Juventus will be looking for another three points to maintain their eight-point lead over Roma at the top of the table. Given their lead though, a draw would also be a solid outcome. They travel with confidence and will certainly believe in their ability to win the game. They do have the first leg of their Champions League semi-final against Monaco next week, so some of their attention will undoubtedly be on that game. They’ll maintain their hunger to get a positive result though, being professional, with Allegri keen for them to focus on this game first. Allegri has pointed out that the league hasn’t been won yet and they will be determined to secure all three points here.
Prediction: Juventus -0.50 Asian Handicap (same as Juventus to win)
Odds: 1.94 Pinnacle
We also have a preview for the Juventus to win the Champions league this season, you can read it here.