Atalanta BC will welcome fellow Serie A side Venezia to Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia for their last-16 clash in the Coppa Italia on Wednesday afternoon.
Both sides have met in this competition on five previous occasions and have won two games each, though the last such encounter was back in 2003-04, which saw Venezia win 2-0 on home soil.
Atalanta began 2022 in emphatic style as they secured a 6-2 Serie A victory away against Udinese on Sunday afternoon.
First-half strikes from Mario Pasalic, Luis Muriel and Ruslan Malinovskyi put La Dea in control, before goals after the break from Muriel, Joakim Maehle and Matteo Pessina helped them claim their biggest away victory in the league since thrashing Lecce 7-2 in March 2020.
Gian Piero Gasperini’s men – who are sitting in fourth place and eight points behind Serie A leaders Inter Milan – have now extended their unbeaten run on the road to eight matches; however, they head into Wednesday’s home encounter with Venezia with a poor record on home soil.
Atalanta have only won two of their last eight games at Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia across all competitions, including back-to-back defeats in their most recent home matches against Villarreal and Roma, in which they conceded seven goals in the process.
In stark contrast, La Dea have won 15 of their last 16 Coppa Italia games on their own turf, scoring at least twice in each victory.
Atalanta, who won the Coppa Italia for the first and only time back in 1962-63, have finished as runners-up in this competition in two of the last three years, including last season’s heartache against Juventus.
With a seemingly favourable last-16 tie against Venezia up next – a side who they thrashed 4-0 in the league less than two months ago – Gasperini will be confident that his team can reach the latter stages and go one better this time around.
Unlike Atalanta, Venezia were unable to kick-start the new year with a victory as they were comfortably beaten 3-0 at home against Serie A title challengers AC Milan on Sunday.
A second-minute strike from Zlatan Ibrahimovic as well as Theo Hernandez’s second-half brace condemned Gli Arancioneroverdi to their 11th league defeat of the campaign, which has seen them slip to 17th in the table and just four points above the relegation zone.
Venezia’s only win in their last eight matches across all competitions was in the second round of the Coppa Italia last month, beating Serie B outfit Ternana 3-1 on home soil.
While head coach Paolo Zanetti is sure to prioritise survival in Serie A over a run in the Coppa Italia, winning games and building momentum is also high on the agenda, so a positive result on Wednesday can only help the Venice-based outfit going forward.
After progressing past Ternana in the previous round, Gli Arancioneroverdi will be looking to claim two successive knockout victories in Italy’s national cup competition for the first time since August 2000.
The last time Venezia advanced beyond the third round was back in 1999 against Udinese, though their chances of repeating such a feat on Wednesday, against one of Serie A’s strongest sides in the form of Atalanta, are seemingly slim.
Atalanta BC form (all competitions):
Venezia Coppa Italia form:
Venezia form (all competitions):
We say: Atalanta BC 3-1 Venezia
Even though one of Atalanta’s six clean sheets across all competitions this season came against Venezia, Zanetti’s men will fancy their chances of breaching their backline this time around.
Nevertheless, La Dea remain the strong favourites to come out on top and they should have no problems advancing into the fourth round.