Bologna v Atalanta – Stadio Renato Dall’Ara at 14:00 GMT
Bologna boss Sinisa Mihajlovic was diagnosed with leukaemia in July, and spent all of pre-season, plus most of the campaign in hospital undergoing three courses of chemotherapy, as well as a bone marrow transplant. But the Serbian head coach returned to the bench to face his old club Milan last weekend.
In his absence, delegated roles to his staff, giving instructions via video conferences from Sant’Orsola hospital in the city, while making sporadic appearances at Rossoblu games early in the season. Assistant coach Riccardo Orsolini stepped into the breach as Bologna bid to consolidate in Serie A.
Results haven’t always proven productive in the head coach’s absence and his return failed to inspire a much-needed victory. Milan put in their best performance of the season to overcome Bologna 3-2 but the fighting spirit Mihajlovic has shown in battling illness was evident in his team on the pitch too.
Bologna’s eye-catching efforts
The Emilia-Romagna outfit have largely producing eye-catching efforts in 2019/20. Bologna have taken six points from 11 encounters when excluding the bottom-four in Serie A despite earning plenty of plaudits for their effort, application and attitude, including contests against the division’s big guns.
Mihajlovic’s men find themselves in the bottom-half of the Italian top-flight and only five points above the drop-zone following a run of only four triumphs in 15 (W4-D4-L7), although there have been clear signs throughout the campaign that the Rossoblu are moving in the right direction with a strong underlying process.
Remarkably, Bologna still feature in the top-10in terms of Expected Goals (xG), xG from open play, plus shots in the box ratio. And should the Rossoblu sustain their current output, a resurgent spell of results shouldn’t be too far away.
Ace Atalanta hard to overcome
Nevertheless, Bologna may have to wait before collecting an overdue three points. On Sunday they welcome the most enterprising and exciting attack in Serie A as Gian Piero Gasperini’s Atalanta head to the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara. No side is generating more opportunities in front of goal this season than La Dea.
However, the Bergamo boys haven’t been quite so impressive at the back. Gasperini’s group have only twice shutout their opponents in Serie A this season and it’s led to a series of entertaining and high-scoring shootouts – backing a repeat in Bologna looks just the ticket with Over 2.75 Goals trading at 1.78.
Collectively, 23/30 (77%) of the duos league fixtures have featured at least three goals in 2019/20 with 16 (53%) even breaking the Over 3.5 Goals barrier. The pair have seen 23 (77%) bank for Both Teams To Score backers as the two teams have scored in all bar four of those combined 30 encounters.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.75 goals at 1.780
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