AS Roma finished off a slightly unconvincing performance with a late winner versus Torino last weekend. Edin Dzeko fired in with a late volley from new signing Justin Kluivert’s cross, but the Giallorossi are clearly still adapting to a busy summer in the transfer market. Swedish goalkeeper Robin Olsen replace Alisson, in addition to the arrivals of Steven N’Zonzi, Bryan Cristante and Javier Pastore alongside the aforementioned son of Patrick Kluivert.
Coach Eusebio Di Francesco spoke after last Sunday’s 1-0 victory:
“We did better at the back than the front, where we weren’t very sharp today. Everyone needs to improve and step up their game. I have many new players who just arrived and need time to adapt, such as Javier Pastore. He can be a trequartista or a midfielder in my system, it changes little, and he brings a lot of quality to the side.”
Meanwhile, Atalanta are continuing the good form of the last two seasons under Gian Piero Gasperini. They have already enjoyed success in the Europa League qualifying rounds, recording 10-2 and 6-1 aggregate victories over FK Sarajevo and Hapoel Haifa respectively. Such goal scoring prowess also carried over into domestic action as La Dea notched up a 4-0 victory over Serie A new boys Frosinone last week , however this dried up on Thursday with a 0-0 draw with FC Copenhagen.
A look at recent results reveals a surprise in that Roma have won just one from the last six meetings with Monday night’s opponents, none of which were at home. On this information alone, it is surely worth a look at a win for veteran boss Gasperini’s side and BetVictor offers the best odds on this outcome at 17/4.
However, there is an important caveat here, which is that Atalanta faced another match in their punishing European schedule on Thursday evening, meaning that an element of fatigue could diminish the high standard of play needed to overcome Roma at the Stadio Olimpico.
Furthermore, the Giallorossi can only continue to improve with the players brought in last term, but will face a tough ask to overcome a side that are bound to be buoyed by their previous record versus this opposition. Should you wish to back the home team, Bet365 offer a Roma win at odds of 4/6.
As Atalanta have scored 18 goals in the last five matches, meaning – whatever the final outcome – this team will force the capital club to come out and play, hoping to hit them with quick counter attacking moves. With this in mind, it is likely that football betting fans will see a high number of goals on this occasion as La Dea hope to upset Roma once more by never allowing them to sit back.
Karamba offer odds of 4/5 on both teams to score, 11/5 on over 3.5 goals and 5/1 on over 4.5 to be scored in total. Any of these options are sensible when considering all the aforementioned factors, a game that Roma are unlikely to be able to control from start to finish and hope for a late winner in a similar manner to their previous encounter with Torino.
He may only be 5’5” tall, but what Atalanta striker Alejandro “Papu” Gomez lacks in height, he certainly makes up for in ability and is certainly a player to watch in the coming weeks. The Argentinian shocked the likes of Everton in his side’s Europa League exploits last term, and has kicked off the season in exactly the right manner.
“Yes, we could say that,” Gasperini admitted when recently asked by reporters if the forward was Atalanta’s own Cristiano Ronaldo. “This year he has prepared very well, he’s come with good motivation and is doing beautiful things. Last season he was less reactive in goal scoring positions, but he still had a great season.”
Gomez already has two goals in European action during 2018/19, and equalled that tally during the 4-0 demolition of Frosinone in the previous round, adding two assists to boot. The last player to have done so was Roma’s Edin Dzeko back in February 2016 and Karamba offer 17/4 on Papu to fire in first or last, 29/1 to score two or more and 120/1 to fire in a hat-trick or more. All of which would make sense for a player who is currently in top form, and for a side who continue to defy the expectations of many.