Top 3: Surprise European qualification candidates (1)

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Atalanta as a team have found recent seasons tough due to the Italian Football scandal, which last season nearly got them relegated as they finished 15th, but as a team in general have rarely been in Europe.

When they have been in Europe they've had successful runs, most notably in 1987/88 with a run to the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup Winners Cup and then in 1990/91 getting to the quarter-Finals of the UEFA Cup.

That was their last run, and since then have been relegated three times in the last 12 seasons, each time coming straight back up. Atalanta have maintained themselves as a mid-table bottom half side in Serie A.

However, since 2010/11 they have looked like a side capable of finishing in the top-half, which is creating an element of excitement within the Atalanta camp.

At the moment they current sit in 8th place after a run of six straight wins, but a loss to relegation threatened Sassoulo did not help them in the fight for Europe, as it would have given a chance to open a little gap between nearby rivals Verona, Torino and AC Milan.

 Victory would've given Atalanta a one point cushion on Lazio and moved them to within one point of Parma and Inter Milan.

With six games to go it is going to be tough and exciting to see what happens in regards to Serie A's fight for European places, between as many as seven teams, Atalanta are certainly going to give it a good go, as well as the other teams in contention.

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