Opinion: Three keys to victory for Juventus against Atalanta on Round 7
While it wasn’t either pretty or impressive, Juventus returned to winning ways in midweek, overcoming Lecce thanks to Arek Milik’s solitary goal.
The Bianconeri managed to topple a stubborn side that was yet to taste defeat this season. But with all due respect to the Giallorossi, they can hardly be considered a top-notch opponent.
Nevertheless, this weekend will present Max Allegri’s men with a more challenging task as they travel to Bergamo to take on Atalanta.
The Orobici currently sit fourth in the table, just a single point behind the Old Lady, which makes the clash all the more intriguing.
While collecting all three points at the Gewiss Stadium is never easy, here are three keys to victory that may slightly facilitate Juve’s mission on Sunday
Rotation & Substitutions
Following a midweek round, both managers will certainly consider some tweaks and introduce fresher legs.
Even though Atalanta are the ones featuring in Europe this season, Juventus are arguably the more equipped side to play twice per week thanks to their superior depth.
Therefore, Allegri can ring some changes on the flanks or even in attack, unleashing Moise Kean due to the absence of Dusan Vlahovic and Milik in the starting lineup.
If he doesn’t make good use of his various options from the get-go, the Bianconeri coach could thrust his super-subs in the second half just when the hosts begin to tire.
Hold The Defensive Line
In recent weeks, we’ve seen Gleison Bremer – the man who operates at the very heart of the Juve backline – giving chase to opposition strikers all over the pitch. This is a maneuver that he must certainly avoid against Atalanta in particular.
With Gianluca Scamacca and Bilal Touré both injured, Gian Piero Gasperini has been relying on Charles De Ketelaere and Ademola Lookman as his striking duo.
Neither man is truly a genuine centre forward. They mostly enjoy dropping deep and drifting towards the wing, giving the Bianconeri defenders no target man to mark.
Therefore, Allegri’s defenders must maintain their defensive line and avoid chasing the Atalanta forwards in the outskirts, especially with a deadly attacking midfielder like Teun Koopmeiners lurking on the edge of the box and waiting to exploit any cracks in the backline.
While they do have experienced defenders at the back, Atalanta haven’t been exactly solid in recent years.
La Dea’s defenses could simply falter under pressure, but it’s up to Juventus to take the initiative and test their resolve.
This would be a much more prosperous strategy than simply hoping that Federico Chiesa and Kean work their magic on the counterattack.