December 22, 2012
Atalanta v Udinese: Preview
Team Stat Comparison
|Goals for *||1.0||1.5|
|Goals against *||1.3||1.5|
|Last 5 home||D-L-D-L-D||W-W-W-W-D|
|Last 5 away||L-L-D-W-L||W-W-W-W-L|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Atalanta | Udinese|
Udinese head coach Francesco Guidolin wants to see a positive mental attitude from his players on tomorrow's year-ending trip to Atalanta.
The Bianconeri sit on the right side of mid-table going into Serie A's winter break but Guidolin is all too aware that Stefano Colantuono's side are just three places and two points away courtesy of an impressive home record.
Napoli, Inter Milan and Parma have all left the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia with nothing this season and the Udinese coach credits those wins to a siege mentality in Bergamo.
He told the Corriere dello Sport: "Atalanta are a good squad with a young coach who's doing good things.
"The team spirit and cohesion between some quality players make Atalanta a tough and formidable opponent.
"They have a great attitude too and having a good temperament will help us come back from Bergamo with a positive result.''
Guidolin admitted to a sense of relief having navigated almost half the season with a severely depleted playing squad.
"I am sure we will get the opportunity to express ourselves better because we have guys back from injury,'' he added.
"But we can't use injuries as an excuse, that's just a reality of this league.
"I don't know if (Mehdi) Benatia will play, though. He's in the squad but I'm still to decide whether or not he'll feature.''
Defender Thomas Heurteaux and midfielder Allan serve one-match bans while Guidolin still concerns over the fitness of Willians and Pablo Armero.
Atalanta boss Colantuono was already without Facundo Parra and Guido Marilungo before he confirmed a further setback today.
"I've not decided on the formation but (Ezequiel) Schelotto will not be involved,'' he said. "He's been unwell this week and hasn't trained.
"I'll most likely play (Cristian) Raimondi instead of him but I'm not sure whether he'll be in midfield or a deep-lying position.
"Udinese are a team that has always been in the top spots over recent seasons.
"They're a tough team to face with an excellent coach and they're having a good season.''
Meetings between these two sides have offered limited entertainment over recent years, with the last three encounters ending goalless.
Udinese have failed to win in Bergamo almost six years to the day from their 2-1 triumph back in December 2006.