Atalanta host Europa League hopefuls Genoa on Sunday afternoon at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia as both sides look to end their seasons on a positive note, despite both sides occupying opposite ends of the table.
The Nerazzurri have been resurgent since mid April and have gone on a six match unbeaten run to almost certainly secure their Serie A status for next season and can thank the leadership of veteran coach Edy Reja for steadying the ship after a turbulent campaign.
Atalanta go into the round in 17th place on the back of a 3-2 victory away to Palermo and now sit eight points ahead of Cagliari, who will face Serie B football next season with a Nerazzurri victory on Sunday.
Genoa will also go into Sunday’s tie with optimism after recording only two defeats in their last eight league ties and remain only two points behind a Europa league place and one point behind city rivals Sampdoria.
Sitting seventh in the standings, Gian Piero Gasperini’s side may have one eye fixed on week 37’s tie with Europa League contenders Inter but will remain confident at ending Atalanta’s unbeaten run.
The Grifone came away from previous round with an emphatic 5-1 win against fellow European hopefuls Torino and former Inter coach Gasperini will have faith that his side can build on such a performance ahead of their remaining three ties.
The points were shared earlier in the campaign when the two sides met at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris when Atalanta went 2-0 up through Daniele Zapacosta and Maxi Moralez, before the Grifone pulled it back through Iago Falque and Alessandro Matri.
The last four meetings of the sides have all ended in draws with the last victory in this fixture going to Genoa in a 1-0 victory in November 2012.
German Denis, Giuseppe Biava and Daniele Zapacosta will all miss Sunday’s match through suspension for the home side, while Andrea Masiello and Marcelo Estigarribia are likely to miss the rest of the season through injury.
Diego Perotti’s season is over for the visitors due to injury, while M’Baye Niang faces a late fitness test for Genoa while Sebastian De Maio and Alberto Costa will miss out through suspension.
Form Guide: Atalanta (W-D-D-D-D-W), Genoa (W-L-W-W-L-W)
Expected Starting XIs
Atalanta: Sportiello; Bellini, Stendardo, Benalouane, Drame; Migliaccio, Cigarini, Carmona, Gomez; D’Alessandro; Pinilla.
Genoa: Perin; Roncaglia, Burdisso, Izzo, Edenilson; Rincon, Bertolacci, Kucka; Iago, Borriello, Lestienne