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Two weeks ago
Jan 3, 2018

Serie A Preview: AS Roma vs. Atalanta

The dominance of the Serie A top five

How will the first goal affect the game?

AS Roma vs. Atalanta live odds

Serie A Preview: AS Roma vs. Atalanta

Fourth-placed Roma host last season's surprise package Atalanta in the highlight Serie A game of the week. Read on to find out if there is value on offer in the AS Roma vs. Atalanta odds.

Live AS Roma vs. Atalanta odds

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The dominance of the top five

This season so far has seen the emergence of five teams who are playing at a level above the rest. The current Serie A top five have been dominant, losing just five of their 83 matches against the rest of the league. Roma are yet to be defeated by any side placed below fifth in the table.

After a strong fourth-placed finish last season, Atalanta’s struggle to compete with the league’s top sides shows the gap that has developed in Serie A. In 2016/17 they finished ahead of both Lazio and Inter Milan whilst this season they are already ten points behind fifth place.

Serie A Top Five vs. rest of league

Serie A Top Five vs. rest of league

Team

Wins

Draws

Losses

Win Percentage

Napoli

13

2

0

86.7%

Juventus

13

1

1

86.7%

Inter Milan

11

2

2

73.3%

Roma

11

3

0

78.6%

Lazio

10

3

1

71.4%

Atalanta still present a difficult challenge for the best sides in Serie A. They have yet to defeat a top side but earned credible draws at home to both Juventus and Lazio. However, Atalanta have won only two games away from home all season. They will need to produce their best away performance of the season to achieve a positive result from the game in Rome.

How will the first goal affect the game?

In soccer, the first goal has a large impact on the outcome of the game. The performance of these two sides so far this season will make the timing of the first goal important for over/under bettors.

Roma Game State Expected Goals 

Roma

Game State

Expected Goals For Per 90

Expected Goals Against per 90

Difference

0 Goal Difference

1.87

0.90

0.97

Leading by 1

1.49

1.05

0.44

Leading by >1

2.98

1.33

1.16

Behind by 1

1.63

2.23

-0.6

Behind by >1

1.68

2.82

-1.14

Roma perform strongly when level or ahead but their expected goal difference is negative when they are behind. They have only been behind for 134 minutes this season, suggesting that this performance may be to do with the quality of the opposition rather than any weakness from Roma. When they are ahead by two or more Roma’s counter-attacking threat allows them to produce 2.98 expected goals per 90.

Atalanta BC Game State Expected Goals

Atalanta BC

Game State

Expected Goals For per 90

Expected Goals Against/90

Expected Goal Difference/90

0 Goal Difference

1.16

1.30

-0.14

Leading by 1

1.65

1.93

-0.28

Leading by >1

2.09

0.68

1.41

Behind by 1

1.97

0.61

1.36

Behind by >1

3.88

0.48

3.4

The difference between the tactics of Atalanta and Roma is shown by their approach to the game when winning. When leading by a single goal Atalanta produce a negative expected goal difference. They place more emphasis on defending to protect their lead rather than adding to the no hyphen. When the game is level the Bergamo side defend well but offer little attacking threat. They produce their strongest attacking numbers when they are behind and need to chase the game.

When Atalanta have scored first they often struggle to protect a lead. This is shown by their negative expected goal difference when leading by a single goal. It is no surprise they have given up a league-high 19 points from winning positions so far this season.

With Roma’s ability to capitalise on a lead and Atalanta’s weakness when defending one, an early goal for either side could lead to a high scoring game.

Roma vs. Atalanta odds: Where is the value?

The strength of Serie A’s best sides has defined the season so far. Realistically Atalanta can no longer match last season’s high position of last season and are now competing for sixth place. Roma have continued to be one of the league’s best sides this season and will need to win to keep pace with the rest of the top five.

If, as seems likely, Roma take the lead then Atalanta will have a tough job trying to stay in the match. If Roma take a two-goal lead at any point then they will most likely take the game away from their opponents. As a result, a bet on the Roma -1 handicap market at 2.390*could be a smart one.

Atalanta have failed to score in only one game so far this season but have defended leads poorly. This, combined with Roma’s attacking ability, could lead to a high scoring game. Any bettor that predicts goals could find value in the over 2.5 match goal odds at 1.769*.

Odds subject to change

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