Atalanta vs. Juventus, preview: Bergamo could prove tricky for the Old Lady

Valerio Pennicino

With Atalanta's impressive home record, the visitors won't have it easy on their visit to Bergamo.

Juventus are well on their way to being crowned Serie A's winter champions, but the Old Lady can't get too cocky quite yet. See, they've first got to go to Bergamo, where Atalanta are none too keen on giving up points -- only Fiorentina have defeated la dea at home. The hosts have also only conceded an impressive six goals in their seven home matches, and with Juve still playing on the conservative side while on the road (12 goals to their 23 at home) it may be tough for the visitors to emerge with all three points.

And with AS Roma playing host to bottom side Catania, and the two sides facing off when Serie A resumes again in January, well...

Ok, ok. It's unlikely Atalanta are going to actually upset Juventus. Because, as always, the bianconeri have confidence on their side. Sure, they may have been knocked out of the Champions League, but in Serie A, Juve are perfect in their last eight matches. And Antonio Conte is a smart man. He knows Atalanta are tough to crack at home, and so it's highly likely he'll put out his best side, particularly with a two week break following this match.

As for Stefano Colantuono, he'll put out a side that's looking to close down Juve, and may play cautiously, hoping for nothing more than a point in front of the home crowd. If Atalanta look to challenge at all, they'll try and hit the Old Lady on the break, seeking out Germán Denis up top.

All in all, though, this could be a rather stodgy affair, with both sides playing it a bit too conservatively.

Projected lineups

Atalanta (4-4-1-1): Andrea Consigli; Lionel Scaloni, Michele Canini, Guglielmo Stendardo, Davide Brivio; Moussa Koné, Carlos Carmona, Luca Cigarini, Giacomo Bonaventura; Maxi Moralez; Germán Denis

JuventusGianluigi Buffon; Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini; Stephan Lichtsteiner, Arturo Vidal, Paul Pogba, Claudio Marchisio, Kwadwo Asamoah; Carlos Tévez, Fernando Llorente

Atalanta injuries and suspensions

Gianpaolo Bellini, Stefano Lucchini, Constantin Nica (injured); Mario Yepes (in doubt)

Juventus injuries and suspensions

Andrea Pirlo (injured)

Match Date / Time

Sunday, December 22 at 3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. ET

Venue

Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia, Bergamo

Watch

TV: Premium Calcio 1, Sky Calcio 1, Sky Sport 1 HD Italia (Italy); BT Sport 2 (UK); BeIN Sport, RAI Internazionale (USA)

Online: BeIN Sport Play (USA)

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