Ronaldo ready to make amends as injury-hit Juve take on Atalanta in Serie A

AFP – November 22, 2019

Atalanta have gone three league games without a win and will be eager to get back into the Champions League berths, as they sit two points off fourth place, before next week´s trip to Shakhtar Donetsk.

MILAN: Cristiano Ronaldo conceded he is not ´100 percent´ despite his goal spree for Portugal but always ready to play as injury-hit Juventus head to Atalanta on Saturday looking to extend their unbeaten run this season to stay top of Serie A.

Juventus visit fifth-placed Atalanta before hosting Atletico Madrid in the Champions League next week.

Maurizio Sarri´s side are just one point ahead of Antonio Conte´s Inter Milan after 12 matches, with Lazio and Cagliari eight points adrift of the leaders in joint third.

Atalanta have gone three league games without a win and will be eager to get back into the Champions League berths, as they sit two points off fourth place, before next week´s trip to Shakhtar Donetsk.

Atalanta´s fortunes have slipped following the thigh injury suffered to Colombian star Duvan Zapata, who scored six goals in six Serie A matches before being sidelined for their last five league games.

As Atalanta sweat on Zapata´s return, Juventus will be without full-back Alex Sandro, who picked up a thigh problem playing for Brazil, with Blaise Matuidi recovering from a rib injury.

Ronaldo had said he was not be at his best physical form, with Sarri saying the Portuguese star has a “little knee problem”.

But the 34-year-old wants to make amends after storming off when he was substituted in Juventus´s last game against AC Milan.

“In the last three weeks, I have played at a slightly reduced capacity,” Ronaldo conceded after his goal spree for Portugal.

“I don´t like to be replaced, no one does,” added Ronaldo. “I tried to help Juve even when injured.”

Full-back Danilo, who scored his first goal for Brazil during the international break, warned: “The games after the international break are never easy, let alone against Atalanta, a team who are doing well.

“We can´t make mistakes or underestimate them.”

Inter will be looking to make it a perfect seven league games on the road this season as they travel to Torino, before their European trip to Slavia Prague.

Conte´s side face a tough task against the Andrea Belotti-powered Torino, who ended their six-match winless run against Brescia last time out, and are in 11th position.

Serie A runners-up Napoli are in crisis, having slipped to seventh, and desperately need a result at 14th-placed AC Milan, who are themselves floundering.

Cagliari and Lazio will look to continue their strong form at lowly Lecce and Sassuolo respectively.

Roma have a chance to move into the Champions League places as the look to bounce back from last week´s defeat to Parma at home against tailenders Brescia.

One to watch:

Carlo Ancelotti´s Serie A runners-up last season head for AC Milan amid reports he has two games left to save his job.

Napoli have gone four games without a win in Serie A to sit seventh.

The southerners have 19 points — 13 behind leaders Juventus — their worst tally after 12 games since the 2011-2012 season when they finished fifth.

After being held 1-1 by Salzburg in the Champions League, they travel to Liverpool next week in a key game for the former Chelsea, AC Milan and Real Madrid boss.

Key stats:

100 – Torino captain Andrea Belotti´s Serie A goals

29 – Juventus´s unbeaten run against Atalanta — 23W, 6D

13 – Points between Juventus and last season´s runners-up Napoli

6 – Inter have won six in six on the road so far this league season.

5 – Years since AC Milan last beat Napoli

Fixtures

Saturday (all times GMT)

Atalanta v Juventus (1400GMT), AC Milan v Napoli (1700), Torino v Inter Milan (1945)

Sunday

Bologna v Parma (1130GMT), Verona v Fioretina, AS Roma v Brescia, Sassuolo v Lazio (1400), Sampdoria v Udinese (1700), Lecce v Cagliari (1945)

Monday

SPAL v Genoa (1945)

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