The neverending run of fixtures means that Juventus have absolutely no time to moan about their latest 4-0 defeat to Chelsea in a humiliating Champions League result.
Leaving the miserable memories of their heaviest defeat ever in the respective competition behind, the Old Lady will now be hosting Atalanta on Saturday in what is expected to be another gruelling contest in Serie A between two teams pursuing greater ambitions this season.
Unlike Juve, Atalanta didn’t lose their game in midweek but were held to a draw away at Young Boys, thus endangering their qualification for the first knockout stages of the competition. Having been defeated twice in the domestic league, La Dea sit fourth in the points table having garnered 25 points from 13 games. Juventus currently sit four points adrift of Saturday’s opponents in eighth.
While the hosts are looking to close the gap on the top four, Atalanta have their sights set on Napoli and the two Milan clubs after enjoying a fine domestic run of form.
3 key players for Atalanta to watch out for against Juventus
La Dea are unbeaten in the last three league meetings with the Bianconeri, with their last Serie A encounter being a narrow 1-0 victory in April 2021. However, it was Juventus who beat Atalanta to lift the coveted Coppa Italia title under the management of Andrea Pirlo last season.
Going into the weekend, Atalanta are without Robin Gosens, Hans Hateboer, and Matteo Lovato. Davide Zappacosta picked up a knock in the game against Young Boys in midweek, but he could reportedly be fit for this weekend’s mega match against the Turin outfit.
That said, here are three key players for La Dea who deserve a warm mention ahead of the game against Juventus.
It was Ruslan Malinovskyi’s strike that handed Juventus a narrow yet uncharacteristic 1-0 defeat at Bergamo last season. Since joining the club, the Ukrainian has proved to be an unsung hero for La Dea. Considered one of the most underrated players plying their trades in Italy, Malinovskyi has begun the 2021/22 season in some style.
Having made 13 appearances for Gian Piero Gasperini’s side in Serie A this season, the 28-year-old has already recorded three goals and one assist. Playing in a more advanced position than his usual number 10 role this term, the former Genk star, as per the stats from FBref.com, has been involved in 5.21 shot-creating actions per 90 minutes.
Thanks to his low centre of gravity, Malinovskyi possesses a natural ability to turn any defender with utter ease, making a pathway for himself to penetrate. Furthermore, he has a lethal left foot, which is adept at both finessing the ball and dispatching it with a blast.
Juventus defenders will have to be careful of the positions he often takes in and around the opposing 18-yard box. There are reports suggesting that he could be put on the bench by Gasperini in the game against Juve. Even so, he could be a threat for Juve after coming off the bench at any point of the game.