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Apr 25, 2021 at 7.45pm UK
AtalantaAtalanta BC
Malinovskyi (22'), Muriel (44' pen.), Freuler (57'), Zapata (59'), Miranchuk (73')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Larangeira (44')
Schouten (49')

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

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

Still seeking to secure their return to the European elite next term, in-form Atalanta BC host Bologna on Sunday evening, having won five of their last six in Serie A.

Their mid-table visitors, meanwhile, have sewn up a stress-free end to the season thanks to some good recent form and are still in with a shot of sneaking a top-half finish.

Match preview

Another Ruslan Malinovskyi goal earned a point from an end-to-end encounter with Roma on Thursday, as Atalanta inched closer to a return to Europe's top table for an unprecedented third successive year.

The in-form Ukraine international had previously scored a deflected winner against Juventus last weekend and has also provided five assists in as many games after his latest contribution, at Stadio Olimpico.

However, late on, Bergamaschi old boy Bryan Cristante strode forward to plant a long-range strike past the despairing dive of Pierluigi Gollini in the Atalanta goal - shortly after wing-back Robin Gosens had been sent off for a second bookable offence.

Last weekend, the Lombardy side outsmarted outgoing champions Juventus with an uncharacteristically conservative display - slipping past the Bianconeri into third and continuing a superb run of results with a 1-0 win.

Still just two points clear of fifth-placed Napoli with six games to go, La Dea have now won nine of their last 11 Serie A games but cannot afford to slip up this week.

Gian Piero Gasperini's side have a significantly more straightforward fixture list in the coming weeks - before facing Juventus in the Coppa Italia final and then top-four rivals Milan on the final day - so will want to finish the job ahead of their big finale.

As Atalanta's only losses in the past two months have come at the hands of league leaders Inter and their Champions League conquerors Real Madrid, they will certainly expect to impose themselves on mid-ranking opponents in the late Sunday kickoff, as Calcio's great entertainers continue to overachieve.

Travelling to Bergamo with one of the league's worst away records to date, Bologna would undoubtedly be delighted to earn a repeat of the 2-2 draw these clubs played out in December, when two late goals salvaged a point for the hosts at Dall'Ara.

The Rossoblu have benefitted from a recent resurgence - ending any fears of relegation with ten points from six games to sit comfortably in mid-table with just a handful of games to go - but have been particularly flaky on the road: ranking 17th of 20 in the 'away points' category.

Sinisa Mihajlovic's men took the lead in their latest home fixture, on Wednesday evening, when Gambian striker Musa Barrow prodded through the legs of Torino goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic. However, a second-half rocket from Rolando Mandragora salvaged a point for the Granata, leaving the home side to rue missing some presentable opportunities to seal a fourth win from five at their Emilian headquarters.

Since filling in as a central striker to address his side's lack of final-third punch, 22-year-old Barrow - on eight goals and six assists this season - has started to fulfil his potential, with Italy international Roberto Soriano (Bologna's top scorer, with nine) remaining influential in a supporting role.

The pair will surely need to produce their best work on Sunday, if the Rossoblu are to make progress in catching fast-fading Verona, who currently sit just above them in 10th. One of the toughest tests in the top flight awaits this weekend though, as Bologna encounter a free-flowing Atalanta outfit with much left to play for.

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

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

Bologna Serie A form:
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D

Team News

Gian Piero Gasperini will be without both of his established wing-back pairing of Robin Gosens - who is suspended due to a needless dismissal in midweek - and Hans Hateboer, who has re-joined training after a month out with injury but is not expected to feature yet. Therefore, Joakim Maehle may be joined by Matteo Ruggeri on the flanks of Atalanta's usual 3-4-2-1 system.

Recent Italy cap Rafael Toloi returns in defence after a rare rest against Roma, while Duvan Zapata could be paired with Colombian compatriot Luis Muriel (the club's top scorer) in attack, if Gasperini opts for a two-man front line.

The former Inter and Genoa coach criticised Mario Pasalic's contribution as a substitute last time out, so the ex-Chelsea midfielder is likely to remain sidelined, with Josip Ilicic in closer contention for rare back-to-back starts.

Bologna's Takehiro Tomiyasu (calf) - who scored in the reverse fixture at the end of last year - is the main doubt for coach Sinisa Mihajlovic, who has longer-term injury victims Nicolas Dominguez and Gary Medel definitely ruled out.

In Tomiyasu's absence, Ibrahima Mbaye should continue at right-back, while Nicola Sansone's place in attack is in jeopardy should Mihajlovic opt to switch Musa Barrow back to the wing, with veteran forward Rodrigo Palacio starting in the centre.

Atalanta BC possible starting lineup:
Gollini; Toloi, Romero, Djimsiti; Maehle, De Roon, Freuler, Ruggeri; Malinovskyi; Muriel, Zapata

Bologna possible starting lineup:
Skorupski; Mbaye, Soumaoro, Danilo, Dijks; Schouten, Svanberg; Orsolini, Soriano, Barrow; Palacio

We say: Atalanta BC 2-0 Bologna

Atalanta's abundance of attacking guile should prove the difference in Sunday night's traditional curtain-closer on Serie A's 33rd round.

As the visitors do not travel well and are able to coast to the campaign's conclusion, the Champions League-chasing Bergamaschi will take advantage and extend their fine run of form.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home 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.Home Win:data

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15 38912175272-2039
16 38910194359-1637
17 38716155069-1937
18 38712194075-3533
19 3865274592-4723
20 38311243983-4420
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