Twenty-six year jinx
Friday evening’s visitors have to go a long way back to draw inspiration from their last triumph in Turin, a 1-0 success in 1989 the most recent of their four Serie A wins in the Bianconeri’s backyard.
Atalanta are the league’s second most frequent crossers this season, delivering 457 balls into the box, four fewer than Inter.
The Bianconeri rearguard will therefore have to be on their toes to deal with aerial threats targetting the likes of German Denis, who will be aiming to score his first ever top flight goal against Juventus on Friday.
Troubles on their travels
The Nerazzurri have won just one of their last 11 Serie A games on the road, a 1-0 triumph against Milan representing their last success outside of Bergamo little over a month ago.
They are also the league’s only team to have failed to claim a single point after falling behind on their travels.
Stefano Colantuono’s men possess the division’s second weakest overall attack, scoring only 20 goals so far this campaign. This can fundamentally be put down to their low count of shots on target, with just 68 forcing opposition goalkeepers into action.
The history books also highlight that Atalanta have failed to trouble Gigi Buffon or any of his predecessors in six of the last nine games played on Bianconeri soil.
Fox outside the box?
The likes of Paul Pogba and Andrea Pirlo will be looking to make their long-range shooting talents tell on Friday night, especially given the Nerazzurri’s problems in dealing with shots from range.
Behind Cagliari and Empoli, Atalanta are Serie A’s third most vulnerable to strikes dispatched outside the box, shipping nine so far (seven in open play, two from free-kicks).
Pirlo will in fact be aiming to extend his favourable record against the Nerazzurri, his second favourite top flight victims (four goals) after Parma (eight).
An improvement in the Nerazzurri’s second-half productivity will be vital if they are to haul themselves clear of the relegation dogfight. They hold Serie A’s lowest tally for goals scored after the break, netting a mere 11.