MX23RW : Sunday, May 22 19:09:40| >> :600:118182:118182:
[monks data]
Dec 21, 2021 at 7.45pm UK at Stadio Luigi Ferraris
0 - 0

Sturaro (19'), Badelj (41')

Freuler (23')

Preview: Genoa vs. Atalanta BC - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Serie A clash between Genoa and Atalanta BC, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Two sides at opposite ends of the Serie A standings convene for their final fixture of 2021 as Atalanta BC visit struggling Genoa on Tuesday.

La Dea coach Gian Piero Gasperini returns to Stadio Luigi Ferraris to take on his old club, following a heavy loss which ended his side's charge towards the top, while the hosts have won just once so far as the season's first half draws to a close.

Match preview

Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini pictured on November 23, 2021© Reuters

Following a fine run of six straight wins in the league, Atalanta were favourites to prevail against top-four rivals Roma on Saturday, but it took less than a minute for their visitors to strike on the counter at the Gewiss Stadium, through Tammy Abraham's goal.

When Nicolo Zaniolo added a second before the half-hour, Gian Piero Gasperini's men were never able to fully recover, despite pulling a goal back just before the interval and having nearly three-quarters of the ball. Having been sliced open twice more, their 4-1 defeat put an unseemly full stop on what had been a superb Serie A streak.

That was also their second home loss in the last three games, with their previous reverse in Bergamo seeing them exit the Champions League at the hands of Villarreal.

Nonetheless, Atalanta have still lost just three of their last 15 games all told, and such consistency has sparked dreams of another improbable Scudetto challenge for a consistently overachieving club who have already beaten both Napoli and Juventus this term.

Furthermore, they have particularly excelled when on the road, with a stunning record of eight wins and no defeats from their nine away trips along the Italian peninsula so far.

Scoring at a rate of more than two per game as the visiting side, the Nerazzurri's final away day of 2021 must seem like an early Christmas gift, given their next opponents' horrible home record and memories of last season's 4-3 victory at Marassi - one of three wins in their last five encounters with Gasperini's former employers.

Ukraine manager Andriy Shevchenko on May 23, 2021© Reuters

A 1-0 Coppa Italia win over fellow Serie A strugglers Salernitana brought some brief respite for Genoa last week, and an all too rare success saw them advance to the third round of the competition. However, back in the intense glare of Serie A action, the Grifone wilted again, as they fell to their 10th defeat of the campaign at the weekend.

Andriy Shevchenko's men have not come away with maximum points in the top flight since mid-September, and they currently languish down in the relegation zone - just two points above their rock-bottom cup victims.

Having accumulated just 10 points from 18 matches, Shevchenko's recent arrival has failed to engender the hoped-for uplift in results, and the second half of the season looks fraught with danger for the Ligurian side.

Indeed, the first half comes to a close with as difficult a fixture as could be imagined, versus a team that stands head and shoulders above all others when it comes to form on the road. By contrast, Genoa have failed to win even once at Marassi this term, and they concede goals there at a troubling rate of more than two per game.

A solitary point from six Serie A matches under Shevchenko - including a 3-1 loss to bitter rivals Sampdoria in the Derby della Lanterna - means that the pressure is already growing on the former Milan striker's shoulders.

The Grifone's new coach has bemoaned the brittle confidence he inherited within the squad, and Filippo Melegoni's consolation strike at the end of Friday's 3-1 loss at Lazio was only the second goal scored under his reign. Therefore, a Christmas miracle may be required for Genoa to break their winning drought on Tuesday.

Genoa Serie A form:
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Genoa form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L

Atalanta BC Serie A form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L

Atalanta BC form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L

Team News

Atalanta's Rafael Toloi celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on September 25, 2021© Reuters

Atalanta are likely to make use of a versatile squad for their second Serie A outing in the three days, so wing-back Hans Hateboer could be swapped out for Davide Zappacosta, who both appeared as a substitute on Saturday.

While another wide man, Robin Gosens, is closing in on a return following a long layoff, he will not be back in action until next year, and Gian Piero Gasperini will also have captain Rafael Toloi and Joakim Maehle sidelined by injury.

Alongside midfielder Matteo Pessina, on-loan centre-back Merih Demiral should therefore be offered a place in the starting XI, in which Duvan Zapata once again starts up front.

Genoa, meanwhile, are once more set be without Nicolo Rovella (muscular), Felipe Caicedo (hamstring) and Mohamed Fares (calf) due to injury, with defender Nikola Maksimovic also a doubt to feature on Tuesday.

Andriy Shevchenko is expected to persist with a 3-5-2 formation despite the hosts' recent lack of success, and seven-goal top scorer Mattia Destro could again join veteran forward Goran Pandev in the front pair.

Caleb Ekuban provides a different attacking option from the bench, while Hernani and Stefano Sabelli are in contention to come into central midfield and at right wing-back respectively.

Genoa possible starting lineup:
Sirigu; Biraschi, Masiello, Criscito; Ghiglione, Sturaro, Badelj, Hernani, Cambiaso; Pandev, Destro

Atalanta BC possible starting lineup:
Musso; Djimsiti, Demiral, Palomino; Zappacosta, Freuler, De Roon, Pezzella; Pessina, Malinovskyi; Zapata

SM words green background

We say: Genoa 1-2 Atalanta BC

Fuelled by their failure at the weekend, Atalanta can press on towards the top of the table by closing out the first part of the season with another away win.

The chance to establish themselves as Scudetto contenders certainly presents itself in the coming weeks, as after facing Genoa - whom they should beat by exploiting their weaknesses out wide and at the back - they meet Torino and Udinese just after the brief winter break.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Away Win:data

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