Atalanta will be looking to get back to winning ways in Serie A when they travel to Udinese on Sunday (2pm kick-off).
Gian Piero Gasperini’s side were one of the stories of last season as they reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League and secured their spot in this season’s edition thanks to a third-placed finish in Serie A. But they have been struggling for form, currently eighth in Serie A and without a win in their past three matches including a defeat against Verona last weekend. Things haven’t been much better in the Champions League, with Atalanta yet to qualify from their group, and facing Ajax in a winner-takes-all match next week.
Dual commitments may play into Udinese’s hands, but the hosts have also largely been struggling in the league with just three wins from their opening nine games, sitting 13th. However, two of those wins have come in their past two games against Genoa and Lazio, and Udinese are looking to win three consecutive league games under Luca Gotti for just the second time.
But their recent record against Atalanta is poor, losing the past five league meetings including a 7-1 defeat last season, La Dea’s second-largest win in Serie A history.
Where to watch Udinese vs Atalanta on TV:
- UK: Premier Sports 2
- US: ESPN+
Where to live stream Udinese vs Atalanta:
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Udinese & Atalanta’s previous line-ups:
- Udinese (vs Lazio): Musso; Becao, Samir, Nuytinck; Stryger Larsen, De Paul, Pereyra, Arslan, Zeegelaar; Forestieri, Pussetto.
- Atalanta (vs Midtjylland): Sportiello; Djimsiti, Palomino, Romero; Hateboer, Pessina, Freuler, Gosens; Gomez; Zapata, Muriel.
Neither side has any fresh injury concerns going into this weekend’s game, but Atalanta do remain without Mattia Caldara and Ruslan Malinovskyi.
Players to watch:
Udinese: Rodrigo de Paul had been heavily linked with a move away from Udinese in the summer transfer window, with Leeds United among those interested, but he remained in Italy and has enjoyed yet another fine season despite his side’s early struggles. The 26-year-old is Udinese’s top creator in Serie A so far this season, creating 25 chances so far, with only Hakan Calhanoglu creating more across the rest of the league. De Paul’s performances have seen him once again linked with a move away, with Leeds again reportedly interested but they have been joined by Inter Milan.
However, De Paul, who has captained Udinese over the past four games, insists he will not push for a move away. “I will never ask Udinese to sell me or start slamming the door,” he told SportItalia recently.
“I’m happy here, they raised me and I’m not going to leave them.”
Atalanta: Alejandro Gomez. The man known as Papu has been one of Atalanta’s stars over the past few years but in Tuesday’s draw with Midtjylland he was substituted at half-time due to a reported spat with manager Gasperini. According to the reports, the Atalanta captain refused to follow orders to stay on the right in the first half and a confrontation with Gasperini continued into the dressing room. As a result, there were some doubts surrounding Gomez’s immediate future and his spot in this weekend’s team but, according to reports the air has been cleared and there will be no consequences as both the forward and Gasperini were motivated by their desire to win the game. How Atalanta will be hoping Gomez can now channel that desire to help get back to winning ways.
Scoreline prediction: Udinese 2-2 Atalanta
Serie A 2020/21 recent form:
- Udinese: LLDWW
- Atalanta: LWDDL
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