Milan’s mini-resurgence of sorts is faced with a difficult proposition this weekend, as the Rossoneri head to the Atleti Azzurri d’Italia to play Atalanta in Sunday’s early kick-off. It’s the last fixture of the year before Serie A heads off on its winter break, so a positive result is even more crucial than ever.
Where and when: Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia – 22 December, kick-off 11:30
Where you can see Atalanta vs. Milan: Premier Sports, Bet365 live streaming
Last time: Krzysztof Piatek hit a brace either side of a Hakan Calhanoglu strike as Milan came from behind to win 3-1 in Bergamo in February.
Atalanta v Milan Predictions and Preview
This has been a close fixture over recent seasons, with four of the last six meetings between Atalanta and Milan ending in a draw. None of those matches saw a home win, while each team has won two of the last nine games between the clubs.
The home team head into this weekend in sixth place, with a seven-point lead over their visitors on Sunday. La Dea’s four-match winning streak in all competitions – where they also kept three clean sheets – ended with a 2-1 defeat away to Bologna last weekend.
There was better news on Monday when Gian Piero Gasperini’s side were handed a very winnable tie with Valencia in the last 16 of the Champions League, and a victory in their final game before the new year would see the Nerazzurri head into 2020 full of confidence.
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Muriel to score first
Muriel to score first and Milan to win 3-1
Milan to win 3-1
Milan have regained a measure of belief after putting together a run of four games without defeat. However, they couldn’t convert any of their 23 efforts on goal in drawing 0-0 at home to Sassuolo on Sunday, leaving Stefano Pioli’s side down in 10th in the Serie A table.
Green shoots of revival can be spotted, but the Rossoneri need Piatek to rediscover his goalscoring touch as quickly as possible. The Polish striker’s only goal on his last eight appearances came from the penalty spot, with only one of his four Serie A strikes this term not coming from a spot-kick.
That could be even more of an issue this weekend considering Milan’s joint-top goalscorer, full-back Theo Hernandez, is suspended. Lucas Paqueta is also banned for the visitors, while Leo Duarte is injured. Duvan Zapata is back in training for the home team following a thigh injury, but Josip Ilicic and Simon Kjaer are doubtful.
This game could be a tight encounter, despite Atalanta starting as the 7/8 odds-on favourites for the win. Milan could prove to be tempting value at 10/3, while the draw’s available at 20/7. A one-goal winning margin could be the way to go here, at 6/4.
One to watch for Atalanta: Luis Muriel has plundered nine goals in his first 14 Serie A appearances for Atalanta, and he is 4/1 to open the scoring in this game.
One to watch for Milan: Despite his struggles in front of goal, three Piatek is Milan’s designated penalty taker and three of his four goals this term have all been his team’s first. He is 7/1 to break the deadlock.
Long shot: Milan showed plenty of spirit to come back and win 3-1 in last season’s corresponding fixture. The Rossoneri are available at 16/1 to repeat that scoreline this weekend, with those odds rising to a massive 340/1 if they do so after going behind to a goal scored by Muriel.