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Oct 24, 2020 at 2pm UK
AtalantaAtalanta BC
Zapata (80' pen.)
Mojica (44'), Malinovskiy (66'), Luis Palomino (86')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Quagliarella (13'), Thorsby (59'), Jankto (90+1')
Tonelli (31'), Yoshida (47'), Balde (69'), Jankto (71')

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

:Headline: Preview: Atalanta BC vs. Sampdoria - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday afternoon's Serie A clash between Atalanta and Sampdoria, including prediction, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Atalanta BC took advantage of the opportunity to bounce straight back in midweek, as they eased to a win in the Champions League following an uncharacteristic collapse against Napoli last time out.

Their visitors on Saturday, at Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia, will be a potentially dangerous Sampdoria side which unexpectedly dismantled Serie A rivals Lazio last week.

Match preview

Atalanta wilted in the face of Napoli's aggressive press last week and were four goals down before half time - eventually losing 4-1. The Bergamaschi will now aim for a return to form in Serie A after disassembling an inexperienced Midtjylland side in Europe's premier club competition.

The defeat in Naples left Gian Piero Gasperini's men in third place in the table after four rounds, coming somewhat out of the blue after a red-hot start to the campaign.

Reflecting their ongoing ascendancy in recent times, La Dea have not lost two Serie A games on the bounce since February 2019 and are unlikely to countenance such a possibility on Saturday.

In fact, at home, Atalanta are something of a winning machine - with a record of 13 wins and one draw from their last 18 games in Bergamo. Much of that success has been prompted by the bewitching late-career form of playmaker Papu Gomez, who continues to impress at home and in Europe.

His partner in crime last term, Josip Ilicic, returned to action this week after a long and untimely layoff, which coincided with the club's involvement in the Champions League final stages in August. With the influential Slovenian back in harness, Gasperini will be confident of a swift turnaround in Serie A fortunes.

His task this week will be far from straightforward, however, as Claudio Ranieri's quiet revolution at Sampdoria appears to be coming to some kind of fruition. The Blucerchiati have now won two in a row, which rarely happened last season, and have moved up to ninth place, with two wins and two losses from their games so far.

Veteran marksman Fabio Quagliarella has rediscovered his best form, finding the target in each of the past three matches.

It has been notable, too, that the signing of Antonio Candreva on the right wing has offered greater width and drive than was apparent last term.

Full-back Tommaso Augello put in an inspired performance at Marassi too, providing the assist for Quagliarella in that wonderful win, before thumping in a thunderbolt off the outside of his left boot for the second goal. He, though, may have his hands too full with Atalanta's marauding wing-backs to venture so far up field this time.

Hans Hateboer and Robin Gosens have scored one goal each so far, with German international Gosens adding two assists. It is clear, then, that the wide areas are where much of the hosts' potency lies, so Ranieri is likely to set his Samp side up pragmatically for a potentially backs-to-the-wall encounter.

Atalanta have scored four goals in all but one of their last six games and have not drawn in their last nine. That suggests that more goals should follow, even if Gasperini does decide to rest a regular or two with next week's Champions League commitments in mind.

Atalanta BC Serie A form: WWWL
Atalanta BC form (all competitions): WWWLW

Sampdoria Serie A form: LLWW

Team News

Some squad rotation is expected for Atalanta, as coach Gasperini seeks to balance both domestic and continental ambitions.

Ruslan Malinovskyi suffered a knock against Midtjylland, which may lead to some playing time for the the talented Russian Aleksey Miranchuk, who scored on Wednesday.

Goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini remains absent through injury; Marco Sportiello deputises.

Mercurial forward Ilicic will continue his re-integration into the side and may be handed a first start of the season alongside Duvan Zapata.

Luis Muriel will be utilised from the bench against his former club, for whom he scored 21 goals in 79 appearances.

For the visitors, Keita Balde is likely to get his first start, partnering Quagliarella up front, with Gaston Ramirez dropping out of the starting XI. Ex-Southampton forward Manolo Gabbiadini remains absent through injury.

Otherwise - with the benefit of a clear midweek schedule - Ranieri is set to keep a settled side for the trip north.

Atalanta BC possible starting lineup:
Sportiello; Toloi, Romero, Djimsiti; Hateboer, De Roon, Freuler, Gosens; Gomez; Ilicic, Zapata

Sampdoria possible starting lineup:
Audero; Bereszynski, Tonelli, Yoshida, Augello; Candreva, Ekdal, Thorsby, Jankto; Keita, Quagliarella

We say: Atalanta BC 3-1 Sampdoria

A rare occasion when the opposition has limited them to just one goal - and handed them a humbling first-half roasting - is unlikely to derail the runaway train that is Gasperini's Atalanta. With a relatively substantial squad still at the ready, the full effects of relentless midweek football are yet to be fully felt.

Though Samp are enjoying an upswing in form themselves, replicating last week's shock result - against an injury-strewn Lazio side - is likely to prove beyond them in Bergamo.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals 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.Over 2.5:data

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