Atalanta and Roma Battle for European Aspirations

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Atalanta earned a well-deserved spot in the UEFA Europa League (UEL) final by comfortably defeating Marseille 3-0 on Thursday. This victory sets the stage for a busy end to the season, with the Coppa Italia final against Roma still to come. With three Serie A games remaining, Gian Piero Gasperini’s side has not given up hope of securing a top-four finish. They currently sit four points behind Bologna with a game in hand.

UEFA Champions League Aspirations

Now that it has been confirmed that the top five teams in Serie A will secure a UEFA Champions League (UCL) place, Atalanta is tantalizingly close to a return to Europe’s premier competition. In addition, they also have the fallback of knowing that winning the UEL will guarantee their qualification. The team’s strong home form, having lost just one of their last ten home league fixtures (W8, D1), and their recent success against Roma, winning three of the last four head-to-head clashes at home (L1), provide plenty of reasons to believe that they can still secure a UCL spot through the league route.

Roma’s Fight for a Top-Five Finish

Roma, currently level on 60 points with Atalanta, knows that their chances of a top-five finish realistically hinge on their result in this upcoming match. With a four-point lead over Lazio, a victory against Atalanta would significantly boost their chances of securing the fifth spot. However, even a sixth-place finish would be enough for a Champions League place if Atalanta finishes fifth or better in the UEL. Despite being eliminated from the Europa League after a 2-2 draw with Bayer Leverkusen, Roma put up a strong fight and manager Daniele De Rossi praised his side’s “heroic performance.” He will undoubtedly be asking for a couple more heroic displays as they aim to extend their run of just one away league defeat this calendar year (W4, D3).

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Key Players to Watch

El Bilal Touré has been a key contributor to Atalanta’s success, scoring in all three of his appearances for the club this season. Notably, all three of his goals have come after the 70th minute, highlighting his impact as a late-game threat. On the other side, Leandro Paredes has been a penalty specialist for Roma, with all five of his goals this season coming from the spot in away matches. His ability to convert penalties will be crucial in Roma’s pursuit of a top-five finish.

Roma’s Unbeaten Streak

Roma has maintained an unbeaten record in Serie A this season when they score first, with 14 wins and 5 draws. This statistic showcases their ability to hold onto leads and secure positive results. As they prepare for the clash against Atalanta, they will look to continue this trend and build on their recent success in the league.

In conclusion, both Atalanta and Roma have a lot at stake in their upcoming match. Atalanta’s impressive home form and recent dominance over Roma give them confidence in their pursuit of a UCL spot. On the other hand, Roma’s unbeaten streak when scoring first and their determination to secure a top-five finish make them formidable opponents. It promises to be an exciting and fiercely contested encounter as both teams fight for their European aspirations.

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