Two of the most entertaining teams in Serie A will meet for an exciting clash at Marcantonio Bentegodi this weekend.
Atalanta BC vs. Hellas Verona
Sunday, December 12, 2021 – 09:00 AM EST at Marcantonio Bentegodi
Atalanta now trails league leader AC Milan by just four points after embarking on an impressive five-game winning streak. It has beaten Juventus and Napoli in the past two weeks, so the players will be full of confidence right now.
Yet Gian Piero Gasperini’s team will need to be at their very best against Verona, as the Gialloblu have been playing some scintillating soccer in recent weeks.
Verona Does Its Best Impression of Atalanta
Atalanta has scored more goals than any other team in Serie A in each of the past three seasons. It has finished third in each of those seasons, as it also has a relatively poor defensive record.
That is down to the gung-ho nature of Atalanta’s approach. It takes a lot of risks and commits men forward in attack, leaving lots of gaps in the defense.
Verona appears to be taking a leaf out of Atalanta’s book. This season, it has banged in 32 goals in 16 games, which is more than any other team apart from Atalanta, Inter, AC Milan and Napoli. Yet it has also conceded 28 goals.
Sunday’s showdown with Venezia was a quintessential Verona game. Venezia capitalized on some slopping Verona defending to open up an early 3-0 lead. Yet Verona fought back in style, scoring four times in the second-half to clinch a 4-3 win. Star striker Giovanni Simeone – son of the Atlético Madrid manager, Diego Simeone – scored twice to wrap up the victory.
Atalanta Has Strength in Depth
Atalanta was also involved in a high-scoring game at the weekend. Napoli was top of the table heading into the game, but Atalanta is surging with momentum right now, and it secured a 3-2 win courtesy of goals from Ruslan Malinovskyi, Merih Demiral and Remo Freuler.
It has now scored 35 goals and conceded 19 in 16 games. It is still fourth in the standings, but it has is just now just two points behind Napoli, three behind Inter and four behind AC Milan.
Gasperini has been able to rotate his squad during this busy period of the season. That could prove crucial this week, as Atalanta has a crucial clash with Villarreal in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Fatigue could be an issue for Atalanta’s players by the time they face Verona on Sunday, and they are liable to concede to this rampant Verona attack. Yet Gasperini can continue to rotate Duván Zapata, Josip Iličić and Luis Muriel up front, and he should be able to send out a team that is more than capable of beating Verona.
Defenders Koray Günter, Martin Hongla and Gianluca Frabotta are all missing for Verona, which has contributed to its problems at the back. It is also without Matteo Cancellieri, Antonin Barak and Nikola Kalinić.
Atalanta is missing defender Matteo Lovato and wing-back Robin Gosens through injury, but Gasperini has no other injury concerns. It finished 2-0 to Atalanta when these teams met in Verona back in March, but Verona should be able to breach this Atalanta defense on Sunday.
Both teams to score and over 2.5 goals at -111 with Bet365 looks like a great option in this game. Verona matches have averaged 3.75 goals this season, and Atalanta games have averaged 3.38 goals. Atalanta has scored in 15 out of 16 games, and Verona has scored in 14 out of 16 games.
A straight moneyline win for Atalanta at -105 with BetMGM also looks very appealing, as it has been terrific in recent weeks.
Serie A Pick: Both teams to score and over 2.5 goals at -111 with Bet365