La Dea's Champions League charge
Atalanta are eyeing their first ever Champions league participation and find themselves in a very promising position to do so. Visitors Empoli find themselves in a precarious 18th position which means direct relegation, they are however only 2 points behind Bologna and safety. Will Atalanta edge towards a first CL feature or will Empoli stay alive in the race for safety?
La Dea had a hard time combining the Europa League with league play and payed dearly for it, they won 1 out of their first 8 games and looked doomed after having invested heavily on new players. Things have changed drastically since then and Atalanta can be found at 6th 2 points behind Roma and 3 behind Milan with a game to spare after a run of 4 wins and 2 draws in their last 6. La Dea have scored the joint highest goals so far this season and are incredibly fun to watch, they aren't your typical Italian team that specialise in defending 1 goal leads but actually try to score as many as possible which is why they have managed to match Juve in goals scored. Hugely impressive. With a few tricky fixtures left it is of the upmost importance that Atalanta win this exact type of game and i have a hard time seeing it not happening.
Ilicic, Toloi and Varnier.
The team from Tuscany look like they are headed straight for the door they came through last August, they are currently in the bottom 3 and have the absolute worst away record in the Serie A. The only reason Empoli are still in contention for staying in the top-flight is due to their home form which is pretty decent but as you may have noticed Empoli are not at home and this is in all honesty not a game they are expecting to take any points from. To push my point further, Empoli have not won a single away game this season but do have 4 draws and 11 defeats. I could bore you with more statistics but the conclusion will stay the same, Empoli are beyond horrific away from home.
Diks, La Gumina, Maietta, Pajac and Polvani.
Due to Atalanta's superior form and Empoli's shambolic away performances i'm backing a Atalanta (-1) handicap win at 19/20 with Bethard.