Spezia and Atalanta square off at the Stadio Alberto Picco on Saturday at 5pm (UK Time) as Serie A returns after the international break.
Newly-promoted Spezia have had a mixed start to their first ever campaign in Serie A, going winless in three matches prior to their 3-0 away win at Benevento. It has to be said that Spezia have only lost once in their last five competitive games, which was a 4-1 home defeat against reigning champions Juventus. Prior to that loss, they did well to secure two points in two league games with consecutive 2-2 draws against Fiorentina and Parma.
The negative fact, however, is that Spezia are winless on home soil this season, having registered two defeats and one draw in three games. Furthermore, they have conceded 10 goals in this run, scoring just four in reply. Spezia currently sit 13th in the table, just three points clear of the relegation zone.
On the other hand, Atalanta had a solid start to the season, but were unable to maintain that form. They have won just once in their last four league outings and come into this tie on the back of a 1-1 home draw against Inter. Prior to their match against Inter, Atalanta have suffered a terrible 5-0 home loss against Liverpool in the Champions League, which actually was their first defeat in the group. However, away from home, Atalanta have looked amazing over the past few months, winning five of their last six competitive trips. In addition, Atalanta have scored at least two goals in five of their past six away games across all competitions. Despite the recent struggle, Atalanta are still just four points adrift of the current leaders AC Milan.
Can Spezia win on home soil for the first time in Serie A? Or will Atalanta extend their unbeaten streak to three league games?
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Spezia and Atalanta’s previous line-ups:
- Spezia (vs Benevento): Provedel; Ferrer*, Terzi, Chabot*, Batsoni; Pobega, Ricci, Estevez; Agudelo, Nzola, Gyasi.
- Atalanta (vs Inter): Sportiello; Djimsiti, Toloi, Romero; Hateboer, Freuler, Pasalic, Ruggeri; Malinovsky, Gomez; Zapata.
Spezia’s injury list is a long one as coach Vincenzo Italiano can’t count on Jeroen Zoet, Jacopo Sala, Juan Manuel Ramos, Andrej Galabinov, Daniele Verde, Paolo Bartolomei, Julian Chabot and Salvador Ferrer. However, there is some good news for Spezia after Tommaso Pobega managed to score a brace for Italy’s Under 21 last week.
Atalanta will be without Mattia Caldara and Ruslan Malinovsky but Gian Piero Gasperini will be boosted by a number of returns. Robin Gosens, Marten de Roon and Jose Luis Palomino are all back in contention, as are Cristiano Piccini and first-choice goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini.
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