With just a point separating them in the Serie A standings, Fiorentina and Atalanta head into the Sunday night’s encounter keen to make a step towards the top six of the table.
Fiorentina Looking to Bounce Back
The Viola did not have the best of starts to the 2017/18 campaign. Stefano Pioli’s men suffered a heavy 3-0 defeat at the hands of Inter Milan in the season’s opener, whereas the 2-1 home loss against Sampdoria came as another big blow to Fiorentina’s early credentials. Even though the club ended up selling their key players this summer with Federico Bernardeschi, Matias Vecino, Josip Ilicic, Borja Valero and Nikola Kalinic all out sold or loaned, the club management did well to boost the squad with the likes of Giovanni Simeone, Marco Benassi, Victor Hugo, Jordan Verteout, Nikola Milenkovic and Bruno Gaspar among others. Pioli is aware that his team will need some time to gear up and for all pieces to come together but the 5-0 win at Verona and 2-1 triumph over Bologna did offer some early signs of promise after back-to-back losses. A disciplined display was not enough to get out of the clash with Serie A champions Juventus unbeaten however and Viola will now be looking to swiftly get back up on their feet against Atalanta.
Stefano Pioli will have no major selection issues for the upcoming match as he is presented with a clean bill oh health. Milan Badelj was shown a red card last time out and will be suspended for the occasion.
After a successful season during which the club managed to grab a Europa League spot, the preseason predictions turned to be utterly wrong as far as Atalanta is concerned. La Dea went through a frustrating summer which saw them lose some of their key players during the transfer market. Andrea Conti and Franck Kessie moved to AC Milan, whereas Alessandro Bastoni joined Inter Milan and many believed that the absence of these three key men will be hard to replace. Atalanta did well, however, to boost the squad and cover all angles ahead of the new season with the likes of Marten de Roon, Timothy Castagne, Josip Ilicic and Andreas Cornelius among others. La Dea did suffer consecutive defeats at the beginning of the season at the hands of Scudetto contenders AS Roma and Napoli, but Gianpiero Gasperini’s men recovered well from the initial blows and notched five matches on the trot, including the comprehensive 3-0 win over Everton in the Europa League. The 5-1 win over Crotone last time out will have done wonders for the team’s confidence and Atalanta will now travel to face Viola with great self-confidence.
Leonardo Spinazzola remains the only unavailable player for the visiting team as the Italy midfielder is out with an ankle injury.
Last two meetings between the two sides produced uneventful goalless stalemates but we doubt the same scenario will be repeated this time out. Both Fiorentina and Atalanta are in great need of points and want to find the winning consistency early in the season, which is why we believe an openly-contested clash is on the cards here.
Top pick: Both teams to score – yes 1.69 (9/13) @10Bet
Alternative pick 1: Over 2.5 goals 1.80 (4/5) @Bet365
Alternative pick 2: Home win 2.25 (5/4) @BetVictor