Atalanta expecting tough Roma trip

Atalanta coach Stefano Colantuono admits he may be forced to adopt a defensive approach to Sunday's game at Roma.

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The Stadio Olimpico is not traditionally a happy hunting ground for the Orobici, who have come back empty-handed from their last six trips.

Add in the fact that they go into this week's clash on the back of a 5-1 defeat at home to Torino, and it is easy to see why Colantuono is prioritising keeping the Giallorossi at bay.

"Roma are a team who force their opponents on the defensive," he said.

"Nobody wants to fade away but our attitude on the field depends on who we are facing.

"We have to avoid being crushed and outnumbered."

Roma too were heavily beaten last weekend, going down 4-1 at Juventus on Saturday, but Colantuono played down that setback as merely a blip.

"Against Juventus, Roma had an off-day," he said. "(Zdenek) Zeman's style requires time and effort on the field to be successful."

Carlos Carmona and Thomas Manfredini remain absent from the Atalanta defence, though it is hoped the latter will return against Siena after the upcoming international break.

But Colantuono said: "I have five defenders so I have to deploy a brand new back four. So far I've been pretty much forced to use a different combination every time."

Teenager Luca Milesi has been called up to the first-team squad for the first time to add cover in the duo's absence.

Pablo Osvaldo returns for Roma but playmaker Miralem Pjanic and goalkeeper Bogdan Lobont have been forced to train separately from the main squad due to injuries.

Midfielder Alessandro Florenzi signed a contract extension to 2016 in a week dominated by off-field issues, with American club president James Pallotta in town and extensive discussions over the prospect of a new stadium.



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