Atalanta - AC Milan Preview: Two teams well in need of three points meet

Atalanta welcome sixth place AC Milan to the Atleti Azzurri d’Italia on Sunday, with the home side trying to finish far away from the relegation zone and the away side closing the gap down for a Europa League spot.

Atalanta - AC Milan Preview: Two teams well in need of three points meet
Atalanta vs AC Milan preview; both sides need the three points

Last time both clubs met, the game at the San Siro ended in a 0-0 draw between AC Milan and Atalanta. The match was really close, with both sides having a fair amount of chances to pick up all three points. But the result in the end was fair, but another frustrating game for AC Milan who are aiming for a big finish this season. 

Form

Atalanta have been a very on and off team, the side have also struggled for goals this season, only managing 28. Their goals conceded record isn’t too bad with only 35 goals shipped so far, similar to Sassuolo and Lazio - who are in the top ten. Atalanta’s away form this has been pretty awful only picking up 11 points out of 30, so they will be expecting to be more of a threat in their home matches.

If Atalanta want to pick up the three points against AC Milan, they will have to expect their current best player of this season Alejandro Gomez to continue his good work. The attacker has the most goals for the club this season with six league goals, he also has three assists and three Man of the Match awards to his names. 

AC Milan haven’t been too bad or too good, despite their last league win being a month ago. In the past few games, the Milan side have found it difficult to make an impact on the attacking side of the pitch but have done superbly in the defensive part of the game. With only eight games left, Milan are six behind rivals Inter who seem confident of finishing for a Europa League spot. Milan will have to start picking up a lot of wins and expect Inter to drop points from time to time if they want a chance of playing in the Europa League next year.

Milan will need Carlos Bacca to be on the form of his life, if they stand a chance of finishing higher than Inter this season. The Colombian is the top goal scorer for the club this season, managing 14 goals and also two assists in 30 appearances this season. Also the forward has played the most minutes for Milan this season in the league, showing how important he has been for them this season.

Milan will once again rely on Bacca (photo: Getty)
Milan will once again rely on Bacca (photo: Getty)

Team News

Edy Reja’s side will be expected to play the same 4-3-3 formation, Rafael Toloi returns from suspension and will most likely start once again for the home side. Midfielder Carlos Carmona is still out with a hip injury, no updates on when he will return. Davide Brivio and Alessandro Diamanti picked up a slight knock a week ago, but should be available to face Milan on the weekend. Gianpaolo Bellini has returned from his thigh injury and is already started training again.

Atalanta’s predicted line-up (4-3-3): Sportiello, Masiello, Toloi, Paletta, Drame, Cigarini, Roon, Kurtic, Diamanti, Pinilla, Gomez.

Sinisa Mihajlovic’s side will continue playing the 4-4-2 formation, midfielder Giacomo Bonaventura who picked a fever whilst on the international break is most likely available for the game on the weekend. Juraj Kucka has returned from his injury and is back in training, the only player Milan have out is Mbaye Niang who picked up an awful injury at the end of February.

AC Milan’s predicted line up (4-4-2): Donnarumma, Abate, Zapata, Romagnoli, Antonelli, Honda, Bertolacci, Montolivo, Bonaventura, Adriano, Bacca.

What to expect

Atalanta have had a little turnaround during this season, picking up vital points with key players Alejandro Gomez and Alessandro Diamanti playing a big role. AC Milan have been struggling in the past few games, should forget about finishing fifth and worry about Sassuolo who are not far behind them. The game should be very interesting, a very tight one and could see Atalanta picking up the full three points especially at home.