BSP-03 Ronaldo ready to make amends as injury-hit Juve take on Atalanta in Serie A

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BSP-03

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

MILAN, Nov 22, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – 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)

BSS/AFP/GMR/0851 hrs