Serie A: Roma vs. Atalanta – Heavy hitters to slug it out in Rome

After a damaging defeat away to Croatian Champion’s Dinamo Zagreb, Atalanta will turn up at the Stadio Olimpico in a buoyant mood having salvaged a point in a 2-2 draw at home to Fiorentina, a wonderfully timed volley from Timothy Castagne in the 5th minute of added time levelling the scores in dramatic fashion.

Roma also left it late in their previous outing, Edin Džeko nodding home from close range in the 94th minute to snatch all 3 points away at Bologna in a 2-1 victory.

Fans were treated to a massive 12 goals when these two teams butted heads last season, both sides sharing the spoils after swinging for each other’s chins in two highly entertaining 3-3 draws.

Offensive muscle coupled with fairly porous rearguards have seen 87.5% of their combined fixtures so far this season result in over 2.5 goals and both teams to score.

After scoring a rather underwhelming 9 goals last season, Bosnian striker Edin Džeko has hit the ground running finding the net 3 times in 4 appearances, an identical record to that of Atalanta hitman Duván Zapata, who will be eager to claim the ‘Capocannoniere’ this time around having been pipped to the post last term by veteran Fabio Quagliarella.

The palms of both goalkeepers should be well worked as both teams rank highly in terms of shots per game and shots on target per game. Atalanta pull the trigger on average 21 times per game which is a league best, finding the target on average 7.8 times per game. Roma let fly on average 16.8 times per game, hitting the target an average 5.5 times per game.

Although goals have not been in short supply at either end, both sides have displayed an unwillingness to be defeated in the league. Roma are without a loss in 13 Serie A games, whereas Atalanta have only tasted defeat once in the last 17 – all the ingredients for a feisty affair when these two lock horns in the Stadio Olimpico tonight.

Barring a total anomaly, the net should bulge on numerous occasions tonight, the last bore draw between these two coming in September of 1984.

To add some juice to the selection, I fancy corners and at least one card for each team given the fact that referee Massmiliano Errati has shown a card to both sides in the previous 20 matches he has officiated in Serie A, and both teams seldom shirk a tackle, both sides committing 14.5 fouls a game. Atalanta are averaging the highest number of corners per game in the league with 9.5, whereas a Roma side who have been averaging 5.5 corners per game should be the aggressors tonight with home advantage.

Best Bets:

Over 2.5 goals, 8+ match corners and 10+ booking points each team @ 1/1 (SkyBet)

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