It’s all getting very tight in Serie A, with just four points separating the hosts in eighth from their opponents who currently occupy fourth place.
With so many teams in such close proximity to one another every single result is vital to stay ahead. Atalanta currently hold down the final Champions League spot and a win here could all but eliminate Lazio from the race. The visitors be full of confidence having not tasted defeat in their past eight league outings. In that time they’ve scored 14 goals and conceded just five; whereas Lazio have lost three of their last six and were starting look like they were really falling off the pace, their win against Sampdoria last time out will have boosted their confidence, especially after an excellent cup win over AC Milan.
There’s always some expectation of goals when Atalanta play, no other side in Serie A plays host to more goals per game on average than The Orobici, with each of their games entertaining 3.24 goals. Largely thanks to their superb goal scoring output, only Juventus have outscored them this season and that’s by a singular goal and having played an extra game. Attribute a lot of this to Josip Ilicic who has 11 goals this season but primarily to Duvan Zapata; the Colombian has hit 21 goals this campaign and 14 of those have come away from home which would make him a sensible pick for an anytime scorer especially at a price of 2.6. He’s second favourite to find the net behind Lazio’s Ciro Immobile who himself has 14 goals, of which, nine have came at home. You could back them both to score anytime at 5.76.
There’s a big concern around Josip Ilicic’s fitness ahead of this match, he has travelled with the squad and will be assessed as late as possible. He makes up a third of Atalanta’s wonderful attack, joining Alejandro Gomez in support of Duvan Zapata. Marko Pasalic will be the likely replacement if Ilicic is deemed unfit. Other than that the only absentee is Rafel Toloi at centre half.
Lazio aren’t in quite as good shape, they’ve had a plethora of first team players missing for a number of weeks. Jordan Lukaku, Riza Durmisi and Stefan Radu’s absence have made defensive cover thin and now with Senad Lulic suspended that cover is non-existent; Adam Marusic will come in on the left flank although he is predominantly a right sided player. The biggest miss for the hosts is Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, the Serb hasn’t recovered from an ankle problem and will leave a noticeable gap in midfield. Luis Alberto has returned from suspension which is a boost, especially in the absence of Savic.
Both sides need the win and I can see them really going at each other in search of it. Atalanta are far from solid defensively but are basically the best attacking side in the league. Both teams to score would be my firm selection at a price of 1.5. Lazio have stuttered a bit recently and with quite a few personnel missing I could see them struggling in this game, especially with Atalanta being on such a superb run of form. Atalanta to win or draw is priced at 1.57 and I think that could really be where the value is.
The two goal scorers for each side stand out as mentioned before and for me they’re head and shoulders above the rest of their sides as likely candidates. If you’re fancying something at a bit longer odds, I like the look of Atalanta to win and both teams to score which is out at 4.5.
Both teams to score @ 1.5
Duvan Zapata to score anytime @ 2.6
Atalanta draw no bet @ 2.1