Atalanta vs Lecce: Atalanta host struggling Lecce
Atalanta teammates Duvan Zapata and Papu Gomez celebrate Gomez's goal against Sassuolo last weekend (Getty Images/Emilio Andreoli)

Atalanta vs Lecce: Atalanta host struggling Lecce

Third place Atalanta look to put their Champions League struggles behind them as they host Lecce on Sunday. 

daniel-lucci
Daniel Lucci

The teams

After another disappointing UEFA Champions League loss midweek, Atalanta B.C will be hoping to rebound on Sunday as 17th place US Lecce come to visit.

On a more positive note, Atalanta have won two straight in Serie A and sit in third place, only three points behind second-place Juventus FC. After easily dismantling US Sassuolo Calcio last weekend in a 4-1 victory, La Dea and head coach Gian Piero Gasperini will be hoping for much of the same in this fixture. Hopefully putting their unfortunate Champions League midweek loss to FC Shakhtar Donetsk behind them.    

On the other side of the pitch, Lecce will be trying to rebound after a tough 1-0 loss to AS Roma last weekend. Only one point above the relegation zone and with only two wins on the season, Lecce will be trying to secure as many points as possible in order to avoid being relegated. Attempting to steal a point or a few against Atalanta will be tough but not impossible.    

Potential lineups

Atalanta (3-4-1-2): Pierluigi Gollini; Rafael Toloi, Simon Kjaer, Berat Djimsiti; Timothy Castagne, Remo Freuler, Martin de Roon, Robin Gosens; Papu Gomez; Luis Muriel, Duvan Zapata

Lecce (4-3-1-2): Gabriel; Andrea Rispoli, Luca Rossettini, Fabio Lucioni, Marco Calderoni; Jacopo Petriccione, Panagiotis Tachtsidis, Zan Majer; Marco Mancosu; Filippo Falco, Khouma Babacar

Injuries 

As of now, it looks like Atalanta have a full squad at their disposal, providing Gasperini with plenty of tactical options for Sunday's match.

The same cannot be said for Lecce as coach Fabio Liverani looks to be without Cristian Dell'OrcoDiego Farias and striker Gianluca Lapadula all due to injuries. 

Who to watch 

This Atalanta team is full of talented players to watch, specifically the likes of Duvan ZapataLuis Muriel and Remo Freuler.  Zapata has been dominant once again this season, registering five goals and two assists in six Serie A appearances this season. Since coming over from Sevilla FC in the summer, Muriel has netted three goals in four Serie A appearances. Lastly, midfielder Remo Freuler has been sound in the middle and even contributed a couple of assists.   

On the Lecce team keep an eye on the likes of; Marco Mancosu and Khouma Babacar. Club captain Mancosu is leading this team by example, collecting four goals in his six Serie A appearances and if Lecce score, he looks the most likely to do it.

With Lapadula out injured and just one assist in his three Serie A appearances, Lecce will need a much larger contribution from Babacar, especially if they want to stay out of relegation.

Match details 

Sunday's clash takes place at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia in Bergamo. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m (GMT+1).

This struggling Lecce side will certainly have their hands full with this very attacking minded and aggressive Atalanta team. Lecce will need to be at their best to pull out a decent result. 

However, if the likes of Zapata and Gomez are able to dominate their opponents like they have many times before, it will certainly be a long afternoon for Lecce. 

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