Atalanta vs AS Roma, Preview: A six pointer at both ends of the table

Tullio M. Puglia

Atalanta host AS Roma, but are looking over their shoulders in the bottom half of the table.

The Bergamo outfit lie in 15th place, just six points clear from the relegation zone. In contrast, the Giallorossi are 8th, just two victories off a Europa League place.

Stefano Colantuono's side have had a problem scoring goals. Only Pescara have registered fewer than the 22 times that Atalanta have found the net thus far. Unsurprisingly, Roma have had no problem scoring or shipping goals.

Interim Coach Aurelio Andreazzoli's three week reign has certainly been a mixed bag. His side displayed post-Zemanlandia symptoms in a 3-1 loss at Sampdoria, yet put in a sublime performance to upset league leaders Juventus 1-0 at the Stadio Olimpico last weekend and arrest a slump of six games without a win.

Atalanta were narrowly beaten at Torino last time out, after previously holding Catania to a stalemate and winning at Palermo. The Nerazzurri have been unlucky with injuries this season and have doubts over Luca Cigarini, Daniele Capelli and Michele Ferri coming into this game.

Maarten Stekelenburg and Daniele De Rossi were both frozen out under Zeman, but have been restored under Andreazzoli. De Rossi will miss this game through suspension, as will last weekend's matchwinner Francesco Totti. Leando Castan and Mattia Destro remain sidelined due to injury.

The visitors have won four of the last five league meetings between the two sides, including a 2-0 victory back in October at the Olimpico. Roma also knocked Atalanta out of the Coppa Italia at the Fourth Round stage. However, the home side romped to a 4-1 victory in last season's corresponding fixture. Frontman German Denis hit a hat-trick in that game and will be the home side's main goal threat once again.

Given the fact that Roma have lost two more games than they've won on their travels, this game is wide open and for the taking.

Atalanta injuries and suspensions

Out: Guido Marilungo (injured) Luca Cigarini, Daniele Capelli and Michele Ferri (in doubt) Cristiano Del Grosso (suspended)

AS Roma injuries and suspensions

Out: Leandro Castan, Mattia Destro (injured) Daniele De Rossi, Francesco Totti (suspended)

Match Date/Time: Sunday 24th February 2013 3:00 p.m. local, 9:00 a.m. ET

Venue: Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia, Bergamo, Italy

TV: Sky Calcio 2 (Italy) beIN Sport en Espanol (U.S)

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