La Dea's scintillating start has stalled this month, with heavy defeats against Napoli and Sampdoria - in which just two goals were scored and seven conceded - while Crotone went down 4-2 at Cagliari last weekend.
Both clubs were in action during midweek, with Atalanta fighting back to draw 2-2 against Ajax in the Champions League, while Crotone crashed out of the Coppa Italia on penalties to SPAL after a 1-1 draw.
The manner of the Bergamaschi recovery in Europe was particularly stirring, giving hope to coach Gian Piero Gasperini that his charges can regain their equilibrium domestically.
A thoroughly entertaining encounter - featuring a pair of second-half goals from Duvan Zapata - leaves Atalanta in a relatively strong position in Group D and offered some relief from their recent Serie A travails.
With a particularly enticing clash with English champions Liverpool coming up, it is likely that Gasperini will rotate his squad for the trip to Calabria, giving another run-out to squad members such as promising ex-PSV striker Sam Lammers, who has two goals already in his first season at the club, and Ruslan Malinovskyi.
Saturday's fixture affords him the opportunity to do so, as recent history weighs heavily in their favour. Atalanta have lost only one of their last 23 games against newly-promoted sides - winning 18 and keeping 13 clean sheets in the process. Not only that, but they have now scored in 15 consecutive away matches in the league.
Not unexpectedly, promoted Crotone are currently bottom of the Serie A table – alongside Torino, with only one point. In their first five league games they managed to draw their most challenging fixture, against 10-man Juventus, but otherwise have only four defeats to show for their efforts.
Fifteen goals conceded - at a rate of three per game - makes them statistically the worst defensive side so far and, in attack, two of their five goals scored have come from the penalty spot.
Gli Squali, however, have lost only one of their last six home games in Serie A - against Milan in September - and will need to put in a resolute performance on Saturday in order to maintain that run.
Though Atalanta have been defeated in their last two league games, they have never previously lost three in a row in under Gasperini, whose very first experience as a head coach came with Crotone, when he helped them to achieve promotion to Serie B in his first year.
Goals are practically guaranteed in this game - and they may come early - as the visitors have conceded the most goals during the first 30 minutes of play in Serie A this season, with six; followed by Crotone's five.
Crotone Serie A form: LLLDL
Crotone form (all competitions): LLLDLD
Atalanta BC Serie A form: WWWLL
Atalanta BC form (all competitions): WWLWLD
Crotone coach Giovanni Stroppa will be without experienced midfielder Luca Cigarini, who was sent off at Cagliari and serves a suspension, and defender Denis Dragus, who continues to isolate after contracting COVID-19 prior to the Juventus match.
In midfield, last week's goalscorer Salvatore Molina has tested positive for COVID-19, so Ahmad Benali and Jacopo Petriccione are likely to start, with Milos Vulic potentially keeping his place after featuring in the cup defeat. Junior Messias again supports experienced striker Simy up front.
Mattia Caldara, Marten de Roon and Robin Gosens are injured for the Nerazzurri, while Pierluigi Gollini is close to fitness and can soon contend with Marco Sportiello for the goalkeeper's jersey but is more likely to take a seat on the bench.
Alexei Miranchuk and Colombian pair Johan Mojica and Luis Muriel are ready for more minutes, as Gasperini will, by necessity, rotate. Josip Ilicic - recently returned to action after a long hiatus - is most likely to drop out.
Crotone possible starting lineup:
Cordaz; Magallan, Marrone, Luperto; Pereira, Vulic, Benali, Petriccione, Reca; Messias, Simy
Atalanta BC possible starting lineup:
Sportiello; Toloi, Romero, Palomino; Hateboer, Freuler, Pasalic, Mojica; Gomez; Muriel, Zapata
We say: Crotone 1-2 Atalanta BC
Crotone's re-introduction to life in the top flight has been a tough one, with only their heroics against Juventus serving to boost already flagging spirits.
A sieve-like defence is particularly inadvisable when taking on free-scoring Atalanta, whose Colombian strikers can take this chance to boost their goal tally and keep La Dea in the mix at the top end of Serie A.