The last couple of years whenever Juventus and Atalanta played each other, we could also use it as a scouting session of sorts. There was Mattia Caldara. There was Leonardo Spinazzola. There were possibly even a few other players that Juventus could end up signing because of the very good working relationship between the two clubs.
It’s a little different this year.
Caldara is now in Milan after he was a Juve player for all of a month. Spinazzola is still waiting to make his first official Juventus appearance after getting a clean bill of health last month.
But the thing that’s still the same? Atalanta, outside of its red-card fueled meltdown against Genoa this past weekend, is still a pretty damn competitive side — and one that, no matter who they have in their lineup, will always be a problem for Juventus.
The day after Christmas — you might call it Boxing Day depending on what part of the world you call your home — means the first half of the Serie A season is just that much closer to being officially a thing of the past. Juve has two more games before the the calendar flips from 2018 to 2019 and the first half of the season is over and done with, and this is obviously going to be the first half of that two-game stretch.
Atalanta may not be brimming with talent like they have been in recent years, but even with the likes of Caldara, Spinazzola, Franck Kessie and the rest leaving Bergamo over the last couple of years, Gian Piero Gasperini is still able to make his side pretty damn competitive — especially when they play at home.
Atalanta aren’t hanging out around the top of the table like they were for a good portion of the season last year. But, at this point, to expect Atalanta to be a pushover is something you just shouldn’t even take into consideration.
Juventus and Atalanta match up well against one another even though one side is supremely more talented — and expensive — than the other. We’ll see how this one goes around — and if Juve are feeling any kind of holiday hangover, too.
When: Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018
Where: Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia, Bergamo, Italy
Official kickoff time: 3 p.m. local time in Italy and around Europe; 2 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 9 a.m. Eastern Time; 6 a.m. Pacific Time
Juventus starting XI (4-3-2-1): Szczesny; De Sciglio, Bonucci, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Khedira, Bentancur, Emre Can; Douglas Costa, Dybala; Mandzukic
Atalanta starting XI (3-4-1-2): Berisha; Mancini, Djimsiti, Masiello; Hateboer, Pasalic, Freuler, Castagne; Gomez; Ilicic, Duvan Zapata
HOW TO WATCH
Television: RAI Italia America (United States); RAI Italia America, TLN (Canada); Sky Supercalcio HD, Sky Calcio 2, Sky Sport Serie A
Online/mobile: ESPN+ (United States); DAZN (Canada); Eleven Sports 1 UK (United Kingdom); SKY Go Italia (Italy)
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