In one of the most intriguing affairs of the ninth round of Serie A this season, Atalanta make the trip to Udine to take on Andrea Sottil’s high-flying Udinese on Sunday.
In terms of results, Udinese have remained unbeaten in the last seven matches, with their only defeat coming in a gruelling 4-2 encounter against Milan on the opening day of the Serie A 2022/23 campaign. On the other hand, Atalanta have done better, having notched up one more point than the Friulian club.
Thanks to a magnificent start to the season, Udinese stand forth with 19 points from eight matches, while Gian Piero Gasperini’s side has amassed 20 from the same number of games and currently sits above Sottil’s men in the second position.
Results in the last five matches:
As for the hosts, Leonardo Buta and Adam Masina remain sidelined with their injuries. One of the most influential players in Sottil’s team, Beto is expected to start the game alongside former Barcelona forward Gerard Deulofeu. Going into the game, Rodrigo Becão and Destiny Udogie are one yellow card away from getting a one-match suspension.
Atalanta have a long list of injuries, with Berat Djimsiti, Juan Musso, Duván Zapata, and Rafael Tolói understood to miss the weekend’s game. Davide Zappacosta, who has been a concern for Gasperini due to a muscle injury, is a doubt ahead of the trip to Udine.
Udinese (3-5-2): Silvestri; Becão, Bijol, Perez; Pereyra, Lovric, Walace, Makengo, Udogie; Beto, Deulofeu.
Atalanta (4-2-3-1): Sportiello; Hateboer, Demiral, Okoli, Scalvini; De Roon, Koopmeiners; Lookman, Ederson, Pasalic; Muriel.
Despite being unbeaten in the league, Atalanta have had a fair share of struggle while attempting to score goals. As a result, they have scored only one goal in their last three matches. However, considering that La Dea have the best defence in the league as they have conceded just three goals thus far, it will be a tough task for the home side to secure three points on Sunday.
GIFN | Jyotirmoy Halder