Atalanta is one of the most dynamic attacking sides in European football and has been consistent over the last couple of years. It is complicated to find a team and a club that plays this level of attacking football to succeed on a very regular basis. Liverpool and Bayern Munich are the only ones that truly come to mind. This is partly why the challenge on Roma on Saturday is one of incredible difficulty. It will all come down to the approach; it’s hard even to develop Roma’s way to escape the Bergamo with points. Young boys were able to handle them in a theatrical match in the Champions League, and in certain situations, Atalanta has let themselves down; however, this Roma side is out of their depth against this team. Atalanta has the materials to punish Roma regularly. However, they have a weakness that Roma must do whatever they can to exploit. Over the last couple of years, they have failed to win the league because of the lack of defense. They can be pretty leaky at the back; this has been a pretty consistent problem for Atalanta; the one year they looked strong going forward, and at the back was before Timothy Castagna left to go to Leicester City. It wasn’t the most outstanding defense, but it was a defense capable of handling themselves; ever since then, they have struggled in this aspect; this is what Romo should abuse. That’s going to be a challenge because the overall built of their team approach should be very Tactical. Roma needs to choose their moments quickly; perhaps an aggressive early approach gets an early goal with Tammy Abraham, who is great Form right now, and if they’re able to score the first 20 to 25 minutes and take a 1–0 lead. Roma should not build on that; it continued to push if Romo gets a lead at any point in this game. They must close it downplay ultra-defensive football for the rest of the match. This may not be a programmatic or positive approach to the game; however, it simply cannot go to the Bergamo and beat Atalanta at its own game. The Brilliance and the reluctance of this Atalanta team are the same. When you go into a game against them, you know exactly what their mentality is; you know exactly what they’re going to do. They’re going to attack you and go for the throat for 90 minutes. Atalanta understands that they may concede some goals are fully aware that they accept that because of how they approach the game. Their mentality is going for the jugular and continuing to push it; they can live with conceding goals because they know in Italian football there are very few teams that can score as frequently as much as they do not. When you play Atalanta, you cannot beat them at their own game if Roma plays that way, they will lose if Roma takes a lead they need to close it down if you play their game, they will beat you because Roma does not have the materials to attack the white Atlanta does attack like that will only maximize the chance of losing the game. If Atalanta score first, try to hold off an onslaught and get a goal back, do not aggressively approach them if you do not have a lead because Roma will be light up if that is the case.
Roma Doesn’t Have the Materials to Breakdown Atalanta
Historically speaking, in the last, Roma has struggled significantly against Atalanta. Whether or not it is at the Stadio Olimpico or at the Bergamo makes no difference whatsoever. Even the year before they exploded, Atalanta managed to nick a point off of a Roma team that went on to have one of their best seasons in club history. That Roma team is superior to the one that Mourinho has at his disposal. There should be some real concern about playing them because Atalanta has had Roma’s number in this aspect for the last couple of years. Even when Roma was on the verge of a cakewalk, Atalanta still managed to come back from a three-goal deficit from a game a few years ago, and the nightmares last year away from home are one of the most antagonizing things from last season. Roma took the lead after just minutes when edin Dzeko scored; it looked like Roma would ride it out to secure an important victory in the last 25 minutes. Atalanta scored four times. I don’t know what it is, but when these two teams play, Roma constantly struggles, and I intend that to be the case on Saturday. However, the big reason to be concerned and the big flaw attached to this game is that Roma does not have the attacking material to give themselves even a shot. Maybe they can catch Atlanta on a bad day, but I doubt it. Teams below them can test Atlanta, but as I said, history is not on their side. Roma could approach this game entirely differently if they had what it takes to break them down. The thing is, Roma needs to put pressure on the backline, maybe if they can get it a goal; the problem with this is, as I explained in my previous paragraph if they cannot play against Atalanta the way they would approach practically any other game because you can’t beat them at their own game. The real issue with this is they do not have the weapons required to make this difficult. I don’t expect Atalanta to Blitz Roma. I expect it to be a closer game when they were here, but without Lorenzo Pellegrini Stephan El Shaarawy in the lineup, things are even more difficult. Tammy Abraham is having a very productive and impressive debut season in Italian football; he is in terrific form. However, Roma’s Midfield and attack, for the most part, has been a collection of inconsistencies this season. They don’t have the team in place to realistically push Atalanta; it’s not an attack that is putting any fear in anyone even though Tammy Abraham has played very well lately; even if the Leaky defense benefits Roma, they just don’t have enough Firepower realistically around with one of the best attacking sides in European football. If Pellegrini was available, maybe their chances would improve slightly; he is one of the best midfielders in Europe, but as things stand, it’s going to be difficult for Roma, even more so because they don’t have the materials the breakdown, Gasparini, and Atalanta.
Duvan Zapata WILL BE A PROBLEM
Even if everything goes according to plan, Mourinho makes the right approach. Roma is relatively mistake-free and can hand themselves in the attacking aspect; it would be a surprise if he was somehow the Puppet Master in a game of this magnitude, considering the quality difference between the two sides. The difficulty going into this even all those things go extremely well. It still might not be enough because regardless of the game plan, and even if it works to a certain extent, dealing with duvan Zapata will still be a significant and major problem. Duvan Zapata is one of the most difficult to deal with when you think about a Striker from a physical standpoint. Honestly, it does not matter who your center-back partnership is; it would be more convenient if Roma had Virgil Van Dijk and Sergio Ramos back there, but honestly, when going up against this animal, it really doesn’t make a difference. Even if your center-back partnership is performing, no preparation or strategy can prepare you for dealing with someone like him. I am not even suggesting that he is the best striker in the world. I’m not saying that at all it’s very clear that Robert Lewandowski, erling haaland Karim Benzema, and others are far superior. However, when it comes to physical brute strength at that position, no one is more difficult to deal with to mark than duvan Zapata. The Columbian is one of the most dangerous goal scorers in Italian football when he is on his game. He is arguably the best player in the league this season. He’s got 12 goals and 7 assists this season, but he’s a complete player that can be dangerous and be affected in so many different ways. The big issue when you’re going against him is the physicality that he brings to the table; no one really can keep him off; he is physical strength, he’s very sizable, and he can power through any pressure that is on him. In addition to that, he’s rapidly quick, and he can strike from anywhere from inside the box from outside the box with a man on his shoulder. Containing duvan Zapata can sometimes feel mutually impossible. Rodger Ibanez, Chris Smalling, and Gianluca Mancini are very good center backs. Still, none of them really have the capability of taking him out of the game unless they all work together and play at the absolute highest level imaginable. Some think I’m overselling this, but I assure you I am not; we gave flowers to Eric Bailey because of his performance against duvan Zapata, it was interesting because even though he had some good moments and potentially prevented a goal in that game against Manchester United he still didn’t stop him, he still scored. Bailey played as well as you could have played on that night. Duvan Zapata is a player to be feared because of the influence he can have in the game; even when he’s not scoring, he’s a knowledgeable player who can score from anywhere who has good vision and passing skills containing him should be the number one priority because even if everything else goes well and according to plan if Zapata has a good game you have a big problem you cannot neutralize a caged animal the level of aggression power and consistency that he has shown this season and in the past will make him a big problem and almost impossible to stop even if it comes to The Bitter End. Even if he’s not getting on the scoresheet, he will find ways to infiltrate the Roma defense and do enough to secure the points for his side.
Prediction: 3–1 Atalanta