A quick glance at Juventus’ form guide relating to away matches against Atalanta shows they have eight wins from their last eight Serie A outings in Bergamo, but Stephan Lichtsteiner was quick to warn against the Bianconeri resting on their laurels when they take on Edy Reja’s men on Sunday afternoon.
“It won’t be an easy match at all,” the Swiss full-back began. “Atalanta play a good brand of football and they’re the kind of team that can get in your faces. They also have some very good players among their ranks.”
An honest, industrious approach to the game, while focusing fully on bringing maximum points back to Turin are precisely Lichtsteiner’s objectives, as Juve look to tighten their grip on top spot and keep the chasing pack at arms’ length.
“It’s still very tight at the top of the table. There are at least four very strong sides behind us and we’ve only a three-point advantage over Napoli. That’s not to say we’ve not done well in clawing our way back up the standings in recent months but there’s still a long way to go.”
What is certain is that the Bianconeri will be looking to move on swiftly, while taking on board the lessons to be learnt, from their Coppa Italia tie against Inter, as they bid to keep up their hunt for success on three fronts this term.
Recounting the drama from Wednesday night at the San Siro, Lichtsteiner admitted: “We found the going tough, but what’s important is knowing that we’ve reached the final. This is undoubtedly the good news to have come from yesterday.”
Wrapping up the interview, the affectionately nicknamed Swiss Express passed comment on affairs in Germany and Bayern Munich’s shock defeat at home to Mainz – a result the 32-year-old was keen to downplay in the context of Juve’s chances of replicating the Bundesliga outfit’s feat in just under a fortnight at the Allianz Arena.
He concluded: “I’ve seen the statistics from that game. They (Bayern) had a huge amount of possession and got away plenty of shots, so I think that the defeat was just a coincidence and doesn’t mean that our match in Munich will be any less difficult. Nonetheless, we’re staying optimistic of getting the right outcome on the evening.”