Juventus already won the Serie A, which should not come off as a surprise. With the title already in their pocket, “The Old Lady” gets ready for the remaining 2 games, which are more or less only a formality. On the other side, we have got Atalanta, who desperately need a win to keep themselves in the top 4. The match will take place on May 19th at Allianz Stadium.
Atalanta come into the next match as the 4th team in Serie A with an impressive 19-8-9 record. To be fair, seeing Atalanta so high in Serie A is shocking, however, seeing how they played so far, they deserved it. Atalanta earned their spot at the top of the league, and while they are faced with an excellent opportunity to reach the Champions League next season, I can guarantee they won’t see the summit of Serie A next season. With a planned departure of their coach next season, I expect Atlanta to once again fall down the leaderboard and remain a mid-table team. Nonetheless, we should not look too far in the future, but rather focus on the 2018/19 season, which could easily prove to be an excellent one for Atalanta.
Coming from a defeat in Cup finals at Stadio Olimpico, Atalanta cannot be happy with their performance, which led to them conceding 2 goals in the final 8 minutes of the match. While their disappointing result could mean their morale suffered, I am positive it will have the reverse effect. Having lost a chance to win the trophy, Atalanta are now desperate to get the job done and finish the season in the top 4, which they could achieve with a win against Juventus. While I could not imagine seeing Atalanta in the top 4 at the start of the season, they did deserve it and are now only 1 step away from actually doing it.
Looking at the odds, I am still a bit dumbfounded Atalanta are considered to be underdogs. I mean, yes, they are facing the most dominant team in Serie A, but at the same time, they are also facing a team that has nothing more to fight for. Should this be a title-deciding match, I would have to give the edge to Juventus, but seeing it’s only another match for Juventus, who have nothing to gain with a win, I can not expect to see Juventus coming into the match with their best formation. Additionally, we can not deny Atalanta have been performing admirably well. The fact that they haven’t lost since the end of February does prove this team has got some quality in them. They did end up losing against Lazio at Stadio Olimpico, but on that day, Atalanta did not play like themselves.
Atalanta proved before they can defeat Juventus when they crushed the Old Lady 3:0 in the cup quarter-finals. While I do not believe we will be watching yet another crushing defeat, we can not ignore the terrible form of Juventus players. Having won only 1 out of their last 7 matches in all competitions in addition to having Cristiano Ronaldo sidelined and having no need to win any of the upcoming league matches, Atalanta has a solid chance to win here. Ever since Juventus won the title, there has been a clear drop in the quality of their performances, and I don’t see a reason why they should suddenly improve now. All in all, Atalanta are overpriced here, as they are not only capable of winning but are also in desperate need of doing so.
Prediction: Atalanta +0.25 Asian Handicap
Odds: 1.88 Pinnacle