3. Efficient transition play
The nature of Atalanta’s high-risk approach means that Juventus will be given chances in transition. Attackers will often be left three-vs-three against La Dea’s backline.
Recently, games between these two sides have been laden with counter-attacks and transitions, particularly in last season’s 1-1 draw at the Allianz Stadium. On Saturday, Juventus aren’t expected to press the visitors high with Atalanta expected to enjoy the majority of the ball.
The hosts will likely block space in their 4-4-2 mid-block and hope to exploit La Dea on the counter-attack. Now, Atalanta aren’t quite as gung-ho as they were a couple of years back, but they’re still vulnerable in defensive transition. Their centre-backs still maraud into the final third and their wing-backs are still stationed high upfield.
It’s hard to envisage many sequences on Saturday of Juventus attacking a settled Atalanta defence. Much of their attacking play will come in transition, whether that’s following an effective build-up sequence or after La Dea are dispossessed in Juve’s half. However, the hosts must be efficient in this phase.
In Federico Chiesa, Juve are blessed with a player who attacks space for fun and loves playing on the counter-attack. The Italian was brilliant on the counter against Lazio last week but was nullified by Chelsea on Tuesday as Juve were forced too deep. Alongside Chiesa, Paulo Dybala lacks speed but is capable of producing the magic ball, while Weston McKennie loves entering the opponent’s box. Alvaro Morata and Moise Kean are also threats.
Last weekend, they weren’t made to pay for indecisive and inefficient transition play, but they certainly will be on this occasion against a free-scoring Atalanta outfit.