Monday, May 20, 2019

Prediction: Atalanta vs Lazio

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions, Serie A 17 Dec 2018

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Verdict: Atalanta win

Best Odds: 6/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

A game that famously produces plenty of goals, Europa League hopefuls Atalanta will welcome a struggling Lazio side to the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia on Monday night.

Atalanta

Starting with the hosts, while Atalanta may have endured a sluggish start to the new Serie A campaign, Gian Piero Gasperini’s side have enjoyed a very impressive resurge. Bouncing back from their close fought 2-1 loss to high flyers Napoli in their last appearance at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia, Nerazzurri put three past Udinese last week and their form in the final third is continuing to gain plenty of plaudits. Now scoring 13 in their last five matches across all competitions, one man who has epitomised their form in the final third is leading goalscorer Duván Zapata. Picking up his first hat-trick in Atalanta’s 3-1 win over Udinese, the 27-year-old has now bagged five in his last five. Now winning five of their last seven Serie A matches, Gasperini will have his sights firmly set on securing a return to the Europa League this season.

Team News

The hosts will be boosted by the news that Josip Llicic will return after serving a one match suspension. Atalanta also have no new injury concerns and Gian Piero Gasperini will have a full squad to chose from on Monday.

Lazio

As for the visitors, while Atalanta might be enjoying a very impressive rise up the Serie A table, the same can not be said for Lazio. Coming off the back of a 2-1 loss at home to Eintracht Frankfurt in their last Europa League match, Simone Inzaghi’s side are now without a win in their last six matches across all competitions, a run that stems back to the 11th of November. Although many expected Lazio to be comfortably in the race to secure Champions League football, inconsistencies have played a huge part in them dropping out of the top four. While Ciro Immobile’s 10 goals have helped them stay within touching distance of AC Milan, it will be their recent defensive struggles that will be Inzaghi’s biggest concern. Conceding two goals in their last two outings, Le Aquile have now failed to record a clean sheet in their last six Serie A outings.

Team News

Lazio will likely be unable to call upon Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva after the former Liverpool man failed a fitness test in midweek. The visitors will also be without fellow midfielder Adam Marusic who will be sidelined with a muscle injury.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Lazio have kept a clean sheet in only one of their last 17 Serie A away games played in Lombardia (W3 D6 L8).
  • Only twice have Atalanta scored more goals after 15 Serie A games than the 29 they have this season (32 in 1949/50 and 30 in 1955/56).
  • Lazio have drawn four Serie A games in a row for the first time since March 2003 (six).
  • Since the start of 2018, Atalanta (1009) and Lazio (942) are the two teams with the most touches in the oppositition box in the Italian top-flight.
  • After 12 Serie A games without a single goal, Atalanta striker Duván Zapata has scored five in his last five in the competition.

Conclusion

Given Lazio’s recent public struggles, Atalanta should see this as a perfect opportunity to extend on their stellar run of form. With the hosts European push really starting to build up some momentum, we’re backing Nerazzurri to add more pressure onto Inzaghi at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia.

Verdict: Atalanta win

Best Odds: 6/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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