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Serie A | Gameweek 33
Apr 21, 2024 at 7.45pm UK
U-Power Stadium

1 - 2

Maldini (89')
Birindelli (3'), Izzo (66'), Bondo (90+4')
FT(HT: 0-1)
De Ketelaere (44'), Bilal Toure (72')
Djimsiti (83'), Hien (90+3')

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

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

After completing the job in Europe, Atalanta BC must go again in Serie A, as they continue their quest for a top-six finish in Sunday's clash with mid-table Monza.

While La Dea bravely slayed Liverpool over two legs in the Europa League quarter-finals, recent results have left them unsure of a place in continental competition next season.

Match preview

Having silenced Anfield with a stunning 3-0 success in England, Atalanta held firm during Thursday's second leg back on Italian soil, only conceding via Mohamed Salah's early penalty, and they ultimately swept through to meet Marseille in next month's Europa League semi-finals.

Long-serving coach Gian Piero Gasperini has taken the plaudits for engineering a notable victory, but such a wily campaigner will not take time to rest on his laurels, given La Dea's situation in Serie A.

After previously putting together five straight wins in the league, Atalanta have won only one of their last seven top-flight matches, and they let a two-goal lead slip in a 2-2 home draw with lowly Hellas Verona on Monday evening.

Goals from Ederson and in-form striker Gianluca Scamacca had put the Bergamo club in control of matters at the Gewiss Stadium, but they subsequently conceded twice after the break to spill two precious points.

Occupying seventh place - now four points off the top five - Gasperini's side do still have a game in hand on several rivals, and fifth spot would prove enough to secure a cherished Champions League return, due to Italy's club coefficient.

Once they have made the short trip to Monza this weekend, Atalanta return home for the conclusion of their Coppa Italia semi-final tie against Fiorentina, when they will be tasked with overturning a 1-0 first-leg deficit.

That is perhaps just as well for the Bergamaschi's cup hopes, as they rank only ninth for away points accumulated this term, with a goal difference of zero when on the road.

After Atalanta came out on top in September's reverse fixture, as Scamacca scored twice in Bergamo, Monza are yet to pick up a point from their regional rivals since finally achieving promotion to Serie A.

There have been three defeats from three so far, with an overall score of 10-2 against the Biancorossi, who have now won just one of their last 10 league games against La Dea - and none since 1999.

Targeting a top-half finish next month, Raffaele Palladino's side sit just one point behind 10th-placed Fiorentina with six games remaining, although the Viola still have one game in hand.

While a goalless draw away to high-flying Bologna represented an commendable result last weekend, Monza failed to muster a single shot on target and sacrificed most of the ball at Stadio Dall'Ara.

That leaves them with only one point from their last three matches, and another failure on Sunday evening would see them go four league games without a win for the first time since September.

Monza Serie A form:

Atalanta BC Serie A form:

Atalanta BC form (all competitions):

Team News

Amid a hectic schedule, Gian Piero Gasperini is set to make changes to his starting XI this weekend, when only Italy defender Giorgio Scalvini will be absent from Atalanta's squad due to a hamstring injury.

Ademola Lookman, Charles De Ketelaere and Mario Pasalic are among several men pushing for promotion from the bench, but 11-goal top scorer Teun Koopmeiners is one player likely to be retained: he has been directly involved in five league goals against Monza to date - with four coming in a single match, last June.

As Marten De Roon and Davide Zappacosta served their domestic suspensions on Monday, both will be available for selection.

Meanwhile, Matteo Pessina - who made his Serie A debut for Atalanta - will captain Monza from midfield, joining top scorer Andrea Colpani in the supporting cast for target-man Milan Djuric.

The hosts will be without several squad members on Sunday: Gianluca Caprari is yet to return from his serious knee injury, Samuele Vignato has a thigh problem and fellow forward Dany Mota is still struggling with a sprained ankle.

In addition, Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro must serve a suspension for yellow-card accumulation, so Bergamo-born Atalanta youth product Roberto Gagliardini should start against his former club.

Monza possible starting lineup:
Di Gregorio; Birindelli, Izzo, Mari, A. Carboni; Bondo, Gagliardini; Colpani, Pessina, Maldini; Djuric

Atalanta BC possible starting lineup:
Carnesecchi; Toloi, Djimsiti, Kolasinac; Holm, De Roon, Ederson, Ruggeri; Koopmeiners, Lookman; Scamacca

We say: Monza 2-2 Atalanta BC

Every game carries significance for Atalanta right now - and they are coming around every few days - so a more rested and relaxed Monza side may be able to take advantage. As Sunday's visitors do not tend to travel well, a score draw could be the final outcome.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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