Sports Mole preview Tuesday’s Serie A game between Genoa and Atalanta BC, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Two teams at opposite ends of the Serie A table will meet for their final game in 2021 as Atalanta BC Visit fight Genoa on Tuesday.
La Dea trainer Gian Piero Gasperini returns to Stadio Luigi Ferraris after a heavy loss to face his old club, while the hosts only won once by the end of the first half of the season.
After a nice streak of six straight league wins, Atalanta were the favorites on Saturday to beat top four rivals Roma, but it took less than a minute for the guests to hit the counter at Gewiss Stadium Tammy Abraham‘s goal.
When Nicolo Zaniolo added a second to the half-hour, Gian Piero Gasperini’s men were never able to fully recover, despite scoring a goal just before the break and having almost three-quarters of the ball. After being cut open twice more, their 4-1 defeat ended an inappropriateness of ending a great Serie A streak.
It was also their second home defeat in their last three games, having previously left the Champions League against Villarreal in Bergamo.
Even so, Atalanta have still only lost three of their last 15 games and that consistency has sparked dreams of yet another unlikely Scudetto challenge for a consistently formidable club that have already defeated both Napoli and Juventus this season.
In addition, they shone especially on the road with an impressive record of eight wins and no defeat in their nine away games on the Italian peninsula.
With a rate of more than two goals per game as a visiting team, the Nerazzurri’s last day away in 2021 must seem like an early Christmas present, given the terrible home record of their next opponents and the memories of last season’s 4-3 win at Marassi – one of three wins in the last five meetings with Gasperini’s former employers.
A 1-0 win by Coppa Italia against Serie A rivals Salernitana last week gave Genoa a brief respite last week, and an all-too-rare success led them into the third round of the competition. Back in the glare of Serie A, however, the Grifons fell into disrepair when they suffered their tenth loss of the season at the weekend.
Andriy ShevchenkoThe men of the league have not achieved the maximum number of points in the top division since mid-September, and they are currently languishing in the relegation zone – only two points ahead of their cup victims.
With just 10 points from 18 games, Shevchenko’s recent arrival has not brought the expected boost in results and the second half of the season looks full of dangers for the Ligurians.
In fact, the first half ends with a very difficult game against a team that surpasses all others in terms of design. In contrast, Genoa have not won a single time at Marassi this season and conceded there with a worrying rate of more than two goals per game.
A single point from six Serie A games under Shevchenko – including a 3-1 loss to bitter rivals Sampdoria in the Derby della Lanterna – is already putting pressure on the former Milan striker’s shoulders.
The new coach of the Grifone laments the fragile trust he has inherited in the squad, and Filippo MelegoniThe consolation goal at the end of Friday’s 3-1 defeat at Lazio was only the second goal he scored under his reign. Hence, Genoa could require a Christmas miracle to break its Tuesday victory drought.
Genoa series A shape:
Genoa shape (all competitions):
Atalanta BC Serie A-Form:
Atalanta BC form (all competitions):
Atalanta will likely use a versatile squad for their second Serie A game in the three days, so full-backs Hans Hateboer and Giuseppe Pezzella could be exchanged for Davide Zappacosta and Joakim Mahlewho both came on as a substitute on Saturday.
While another broad man Robin Gosens, is about to return after a long period of injury and will not be back until next year, but Gian Piero Gasperini has no further losses to cope with.
In addition to midfielder Matteo Pessina, loaned center-back Merih Demiral is also pushing for a place in the starting XI, in the Duvan Zapata should start all over again.
Meanwhile, Genoa is once again without Nicolo Rovella (muscular), Felipe Caicedo (Thigh) and Mohamed tariffs (Wade) injury-related, with defender Nikola Maksimovic also a doubt to appear on Tuesday.
Andriy Shevchenko is expected to remain with a 3-5-2 formation despite the hosts’ recent failures to win and to be the top scorer with seven goals Mattia Destro could be a veteran striker again Goran Pandev in the front pair.
Caleb Ekuban offers another attack option from the bank while Hernani and Stefano Sabelli are trying to move into central midfield or the right full-back.
Genoa possible starting line-up:
Sirigu; Vanheusden, Masiello, Criscito; Ghiglione, Sturaro, Badelj, Hernani, Cambiaso; Pandev, Destro
Atalanta BC possible starting line-up:
Musso; Toloi, Demiral, Palomino; Zappacosta, Freuler, De Roon, Maehle; Pessina, Malinowski; Zapata
We say: Genoa 1-2 Atalanta BC
Driven by the failure at the weekend, Atalanta can advance to the top of the table with another away win in the first half of the season.
The chance to establish themselves as a Scudetto contender will certainly be offered in the coming weeks, because after the game against Genoa – which they should beat by exploiting their weaknesses on the outside and back – they meet Turin shortly after the short winter break and Udinese.