Roma vs Atalanta

Stadio Olimpico sets the stage for a high-stakes Serie A clash between Roma and Atalanta.

Roma waved goodbye to 2023 on a sorrowful note, suffering a stomach-wrenching 1-0 defeat at Juventus en route to dropping outside the European spots. But despite commencing the new calendar year in seventh place, ‘I Giallorossi’ trail fourth-placed Fiorentina by a mere five points, highlighting the significance of avenging a 1-0 loss in this corresponding fixture in 2022/23. That result forms part of a much more ominous pattern that has seen Roma go winless in 14 of their last 17 encounters against Atalanta (W3, D6, L8). On the bright side, Jose Mourinho’s men have excelled at home, winning ten of their 11 competitive outings at the Olimpico (D1) since a 2-1 defeat to AC Milan in September, including a come-from-behind 2-1 victory against second-tier Cremonese in midweek Coppa Italia action.

Like their hosts, Atalanta got 2024 off to a winning start, dismantling Sassuolo 3-1 in their Coppa Italia last-16 tie a few days ago. Gian Piero Gasperini’s side won their last Serie A match of 2024, squeaking past Lecce 1-0 at home to close the gap on the coveted fourth place to four points. But despite winning three of their last four league games (L1), ‘La Dea’ can’t afford to rest on their laurels. Gasperini must address Atalanta’s travel sickness to boost their chances of returning to the Champions League following a disappointing run of three consecutive winless away league fixtures (D1, L2). Ominously for the visitors, they’ve lost their last two Serie A assignments outside Bergamo ‘to nil.’ However, they’ve drawn a blank just once on their ten most recent top-flight visits to Roma.

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