By Anthony Nlebem.
Nigerian stars Ademola Lookman and Cyriel Dessers will lock horns as Atalanta battle rock-bottom Cremonese in a Serie A matchday 28 on Saturday at the Estadio Giovanni Zini.
While the La Dea remain contenders for a top-four finish despite losing five of their last eight games, their hosts La Cremo are swimming in the relegation water and could make a swift return to the second tier league.
Lookman, who just returned from international commitments with the Super Eagles, will be leading the Nerazzurri attack.
The 25-year-old striker has also been impressive for Gian Piero Gasperini’s side and has scored 12 goals with five assists in 26 league matches this season, but has failed to score in his last seven league games.
The former Leicester man will be hoping to put an end to his goal drought for the Nerazzurri at the Estadio Giovanni Zini.
Sixth-placed Atalanta returned to winning ways after four games. Second-half goals from Marten de Roon and Rasmus Hojlund helped them to a 2-1 win against Empoli just before the international break.
Lookman came in in the 76th minute for Giorgio Scalvini and was looking at ending his goal drought, but was denied any opportunity by Empoli’s defence.
Gasperini’s men are still only three points adrift of fourth-placed Milan, who occupy the last Champions League spot and the match against the Violins could be an important test of the team’s real possibilities in the race for fourth place.
Nigeria international Dessers will be leading the Cremonese attack and the Nigerian striker will hope to be on the scorers sheet and fire his team to a crucial home win’
The 28-year-old forward has struggled with form and has managed just five league goals in 21 appearances.
The Tigers could be without top Nigerian striker and club scorer David Okereke, who has found the net seven times in all competitions and is in doubt for the clash.
The hosts are winless in three league games, avoiding a third-straight defeat with a 1-1 draw against Monza in their previous outing. With just one win, Cremonese remain bottom of the standings.
The Violins have managed one win this season and have lost five defeats in their last six games.
They have drawn ten times this term and have drawn seven of their 11 Serie A meetings against Atalanta, the most draws played by them against an opponent in the top flight.
The Nerazzurri have not scored in three of their last four games and have not scored in four of their last five away outings.