By 90Min
September 30, 2017

Juventus return to domestic action on Sunday when they make the trip across northern Italy to face Atalanta at their Atleti Azzurri d'Italia home in Bergamo.


Classic Encounter


Juve haven't been beaten by Atalanta in any competition since a Coppa Italia meeting in 2005.

One particular game in recent years that stands out came in May 2012 as Juve finished as Serie A champions for the first time since the Calciopoli scandal and their forced relegation to Serie B.

Valerio Pennicino/GettyImages

Atalanta were the opposition on the final day of the league season. Juve won the game 3-1 after an early goal from Luca Marrone set them on their way. But perhaps more significantly, it saw the last goal that club legend Alessandro del Piero would score for the club.

It was his 290th goal in Juve colours, before moving on to a new challenge in Australia.


Atalanta Lowdown


Atalanta are already struggling to match the kind of impressive form that saw them seal a fourth place finish in Serie A last season, especially after key players departed in summer.

PHILIPPE DESMAZES/GettyImages

In fairness, they could hardly have asked for a more difficult start in the fixture list, facing Roma and Napoli in the first two weeks. Results have picked up since after wins against Sassuolo and Crotone, as well as draws against Chievo and Fiorentina, but having a Europa League commitment has brought with it further challenges.

As such, Atalanta are currently ninth in the Serie A standings, only a point closer to the top four than they are away from the relegation zone.


Team News


Atalanta: The exertions of playing against Lyon in the Europa League on Thursday night might force Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini into changes to ensure he names a side not fatigued. Defender Rafael Toloi could be a doubt.

Juventus: Mattia de Sciglio, Claudio Marchisio, Benedikt Howedes and Marko Pjaca remain out, while Miralem Pjanic is also a doubt after suffering an injury before the Olympiacos win in midweek. There is a strong chance that Gonzalo Higuain could be recalled to the starting XI.

MARCO BERTORELLO/GettyImages

Lineups


Atalanta (3-4-3): Berisha; Masiello, Caldara, Palomino; Hateboer, Cristante, Freuler, Spinazzola; Ilicic, Gomez, Petagna

Juventus (4-2-3-1): Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Benatia, Chiellini, Sandro; Matuidi, Bentancur; Cuadrado, Dybala, Costa; Higuain


Prediction


Juventus have managed a 100% record in Serie A this far and it won't last forever. But, equally, Atalanta failed to pick up three points in the league immediately after their last Europa League game. That continental outing was at home, while this week they were away.

Despite their injury problems, Juve should still have too much for the hosts in Bergamo.

Atalanta 1-2 Juventus

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