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Atalanta logo
Serie A | Gameweek 18
Dec 30, 2023 at 11.30am UK
Gewiss Stadium
Lecce logo

1 - 0

Lookman (58')
Zappacosta (35'), Holm (90+5')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Ramadani (82'), Oudin (90+5')

Preview: Atalanta BC vs. Lecce - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Serie A clash between Atalanta BC and Lecce, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

In their final game of the calendar year, Atalanta BC aim to end 2023 on a high when they host Lecce at the Gewiss Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

After losing to fellow top-six contenders Bologna just before Christmas, the Bergamo club sit only four places above their latest visitors in the Serie A standings and languish outside the European places.

Match preview

Atalanta's Ademola Lookman celebrates scoring their first goal with Davide Zappacosta on December 9, 2023© Reuters

Becoming the latest victim of Bologna's Lewis Ferguson, Atalanta let two points slip at the end of last week's defeat at Stadio Dall'Ara, with the Scottish midfielder's late goal consigning La Dea to another away defeat.

Following a month-long winless run in the league, the Bergamaschi had then put together back-to-back victories over AC Milan and Salernitana, but losing in Emilia-Romagna now leaves them eighth in the table and five points behind fourth-placed Bologna.

Although they progressed to the Europa League's knockout phase quite serenely, Atalanta have lost seven of their 17 Serie A fixtures this season, and another defeat this weekend would see them record as many as eight from 18 for the first time since 2015 - before Gian Piero Gasperini's remarkable reign began.

Some 40% of the league goals they have conceded have come from set-piece situations - the highest share of any team throughout Italy's top flight - and such defensive frailties often undermine their sharpness in the final third.

Atalanta have scored seven goals in their last two home Serie A games and 43 overall during 2023, which is the most of any Serie A side this year.

With Luis Muriel re-finding his form and Ademola Lookman continuing to impress, La Dea will now be intent on bouncing back from a rare failure in front of goal and improving their recent record against Saturday's visitors.

Lecce's Lorenzo Venuti with teammates remonstrate with referee Rosario Abisso on November 11, 2023© Reuters

Lecce came out on top in both meetings with Atalanta last season, 2-1 successes at home and away, and the Puglian club will now aim to post a third straight Serie A win over the Nerazzurri for the very first time.

Though they were beaten 2-0 by league leaders Inter Milan at San Siro last time out, suffering their first defeat in six games, the Giallorossi remain relatively safe in mid-table with two games to go until the midpoint of the 2023-24 campaign.

A tally of 20 points so far is Lecce's best at this stage since 2004, leaving them seven points clear of the drop zone in 12th place - and their fine form down at Stadio Via del Mare has been largely to thank.

Coach Roberto D'Aversa still seeks to resolve his side's struggles when on the road, as despite holding Fiorentina in Florence and coming within a whisker of beating Roma in the capital they are one of four teams without an away win.

Visits to Inter and now Atalanta have not presented the ideal opportunities to end such a drought, but the Salentini have recently had the edge over La Dea and will travel north in hope of finishing the year with a flourish.

Atalanta BC Serie A form:

Atalanta BC form (all competitions):

Lecce Serie A form:

Team News

Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini on November 4, 2023© Reuters

As both Rafael Toloi and Jose Luis Palomino are doubtful due to injury, Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini may retain the back three that started against Bologna last weekend.

It remains to be seen whether Marco Carnesecchi will make way for former first choice Juan Musso in goal, while Gasperini now has plenty of options to choose from up front.

Ademola Lookman partnered Charles De Ketelaere at the Dall'Ara, but a rejuvenated Luis Muriel - who played 29 games and scored seven goals for Lecce in Serie A - has found the net in both of his last two home matches. Italy striker Gianluca Scamacca is also in contention, but long-term absentee El Bilal Toure will not be back in action until next month at the earliest.

Meanwhile, Lecce will be without either Marin Pongracic or Lameck Banda, both of whom must serve suspensions. The latter was shown a straight red card for dissent at San Siro last week and also misses the upcoming clash with Cagliari.

Kastriot Demarku is sidelined by a knee injury, so Algeria international Ahmed Touba may have to step in to a generally settled back four.

The only Serie A team with two defenders to have made at least 38 appearances in 2023, Lecce's Valentin Gendrey and Federico Baschirotto have both played over 3300 minutes this calendar year and will start again in Bergamo.

Atalanta BC possible starting lineup:
Musso; De Roon, Djimsiti, Kolasinac; Zappacosta, Pasalic, Ederson, Ruggeri; Koopmeiners; Lookman, Scamacca

Lecce possible starting lineup:
Falcone; Gendrey, Touba, Baschiroto, Gallo; Kaba, Ramadani, Raffia; Strefezza, Krstovic, Oudin

SM words green background

We say: Atalanta BC 1-1 Lecce

A total of five draws from eight on their travels shows how hard Lecce can be to beat, so Atalanta may have to settle for a point in their final game of 2023. The hosts are often caught out at the back, and their visitors could take advantage.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data

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CInter Milan37296287206793
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5Atalanta BCAtalanta362061067392866
16Hellas VeronaHellas Verona36810183448-1434

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