Match Time: 6/29/2020 01:30 Monday(GMT+8)
Atalanta BC will be looking to extend their five match winning run and tighten their hold on fourth place in Serie A when they travel to lowly Udinese on Sunday. Gian Piero Gasperini's side have won back-to-back games since the restart and are six points clear of fifth place, while their opponents - whom they beat 7-1 in the reverse fixture - are down in 15th place and still at serious risk of being relegated.
Atalanta have rightly gained a reputation for being one of Europe's most exciting teams to watch - little wonder when they have scored 77 Serie A goals this term, 15 more than next-best Lazio. Not only are La Dea fund to watch, though, they also know how to pick up victories and it is shaping up to be another season to remember for the Lombardy-based club. Indeed, they have won eight games in a row in all competitions either side of the three-month hiatus, five of those victories coming in the Italian top flight. Gasperini's charges have already put seven goals past Torino and Lecce in 2020, and have racked up four goals against four other opponents. Thirty-seven of their 77 goals have come on their travels, equalling AC Milan's all-time record at this stage of the season back in 1950-51. Udinese may well be feeling a little worried ahead of Sunday's clash, then, having gone nine matches without a win in all competitions.
The Bianconeri followed up a three match losing run in the league with four draws on the spin prior to lockdown, seeing them slip to 15th in the table. The three-month break was supposed to work in Udinese's favour, giving them a chance to regroup, but they were beaten 1-0 by Torino on their return to action in midweek. Luca Gotti now has 11 games to keep his side above the dotted line, with the gap on 18th-place Lecce - playing at Juventus on Friday night - standing at three points. Udinese will need to improve their home record if they are to avoid the drop, with the Bianconeri having taking two points from the last nine on offer, failing to score in those three matches. Furthermore, Atalanta have won their last four games against Udinese, scoring 14 goals and conceding only two in the process, including that aforementioned 7-1 victory in the reverse fixture.
Udinese's Serie A form: LDDDDL
Atalanta's Serie A form: DWWWWW
Atalanta's form (all competitions): WWWWWW
Atalanta have no known injury concerns for this match, so it all comes down to whether Gasperini intends to rotate his side. Duvan Zapata started last time out and is expected to retain his place against the club he played 63 times for in the league during a two-season loan spell. Udinese will be relying on Stefano Okaka for their goals - he is the only member of their current squad to have netted more than once against Atalanta (two in total). Rodrigo de Paul will play no part due to suspension - a big blow for the hosts - while Rolando Mandragora and Sebastian Prodl are injured so Gotti will have to tweak his side.
Udinese possible starting lineup: Musso; Maio, Nuytinck, Samir; Larsen, Wallace, Jajalo, Fofana, Sema; Nestorovski, Okaka
Atalanta possible starting lineup: Gollini; Toloi, Palomino, Djimsiti; Hateboer, De Roon, Gomez, Gosens; Ilicic, Zapata, Freuler
Udinese VS Atalanta
Handicap Pick:Atalanta -1.25