Juventus host Atalanta on Wednesday with the Italian champions six points ahead of their visitors but four points behind Serie A leaders AC Milan. The gap closed a little over the weekend with Andrea Pirlo's men winning away at lowly Genoa and improving Parma holding Stefano Pioli's side to a draw, but it is Milan's turn to face the strugglers this midweek with three points expected.
Atalanta might not be as explosive as they were last season, but they can still pull off results with plenty of goals. With Juve needing a win, Atalanta have the power to make their title defense more complicated than it already is.
Here is how you can watch the match and what to know:
Juventus vs. Atalanta
- Date: Wednesday, Dec. 16
- Time: 12:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Juventus Stadium -- Turin, Italy
- TV/live stream: ESPN+
- Odds: Juventus -110; Draw +260; Atalanta +290 (via William Hill Sportsbook)
Juventus: With four wins from their last five across all competitions as part of a 10-match unbeaten run, Juve are getting back to their best form after a slow start to the season. Strangely, Pirlo's team is unbeaten domestically but has struggled to turn draws into wins at times with five ties in total this campaign contributing towards 10 points being dropped.
In the Champions League, a 3-0 win away at Barcelona secured top spot in Group G and with Porto now their known round of 16 opponents, Cristiano Ronaldo and his teammates can concentrate on closing the gap to Milan.
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Atalanta: Three losses and four draws from their last 11 across all competitions illustrates how much harder Atalanta are finding things this season after last campaign's feel-good story. Add in the friction between captain Alejandro "Papu" Gomez and coach Gian Piero Gasperini and it has been a bumpy ride at times this term.
Alejandro ‘Papu’ Gomez is set to leave Atalanta in January.— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) December 14, 2020
He had a fight with Gasperini during the half-time of the #UCL match against Mydtjlland. “When I’ll leave the club, you’ll know the truth”, he said.
Captain against manager. ‘Papu’ wants a new club 🇦🇷 #transfers
Less relentless domestically than before, the Bergamo outfit have only won two of their last seven in Serie A with three losses making this a shaky period at Gewiss Stadium. A 3-0 home win over Fiorentina last weekend was a step in the right direction as they seek to rediscover the form that had them scoring 13 for five conceded just before their sticky recent run. Three of their last five wins have been on the road so that is a source of encouragement for Atalanta as they travel to Turin and begin their long-term preparations to face Real Madrid in the Champions League.
Atalanta are overdue a thriller and Juve still look vulnerable at the back, so expect fireworks as Gasperini's men take it to their hosts. Ronaldo provides the goods for his team as the visitors go for broke. Pick: Juve 3, Atalanta 3