Preview: Bologna vs. Atalanta BC
With only one point taken from their last four matches, Atalanta BC aim to get back to winning ways on Monday night, as they visit Bologna at Stadio Renato Dall’Ara.
Salvaging a late draw on their return to Serie A duty at least stopped the rot for La Dea last time out, while their mid-table hosts were beaten by Roma in the capital.
Following a bright start to the season, Atalanta’s descent of the table continued following the prolonged winter break, as they slipped down to seventh in the Serie A standings despite fighting back for a point on Wednesday.
Once challenging Napoli near the top of the table, Gian Piero Gasperini’s side have now failed to win in five of their last six league matches after having won six of the previous eight.
They have also conceded at least twice in each of their last four fixtures – only rescuing a draw after going two goals down to Spezia thanks to Mario Pasalic’s stoppage-time equaliser – and the Bergamo club last shipped multiple goals in more consecutive league games back in 2008.
Mirroring their dramatic loss of form last term, Atalanta have slumped to such an extent that they have now gained six fewer points than after 16 rounds of Serie A a year ago, so will be desperate to halt their slide against one of their favourite opponents of late.
Having lost only one of their last 13 league meetings with Bologna – winning 10 times in the process and keeping a clean sheet on eight occasions – La Dea reigns supreme over Monday’s hosts, whose form before the break stood in stark contrast to that of the visitors.
Bologna may have failed to even find the net in the teams’ last three encounters, but they concluded the first phase of the current campaign by tallying 12 points from a possible 15 – nine more than Atalanta during that period.
However, Thiago Motta’s men could not continue their revival on Wednesday afternoon, as they were beaten 1-0 by Roma at Stadio Olimpico.
In the Rossoblu’s first competitive fixture since the death of former coach Sinisa Mihajlovic – who started the season in the Dall’Ara dugout before succumbing to leukaemia – an emotional occasion for the Emilian club ended with a sixth away defeat.
Back on home soil, though, Bologna are unbeaten in their last four home matches, owing to one draw followed by three straight wins, and they last put together a longer such streak nearly four years ago.
Therefore, a side that pulled clear of the bottom three by seeing off Monza, Torino and Sassuolo before the break should prove a stern test of Atalanta’s credentials as top-four challengers this term.
Bologna Serie A form:
Atalanta BC Serie A form:
We say: Bologna 1-2 Atalanta BC
Despite their recent travails, Atalanta’s away form is among the best in Serie A this season, and they now meet a Bologna side whose rhythm was disrupted by the long winter break. Perked up by their brave fightback in La Spezia, the visitors can eke out all three points and get back on the top-four trail.