AC Milan - Atalanta Betting Preview: Struggling hosts should be backed to claim a vital victory

Massimiliano Allegri's men are desperate for victory from Monday afternoon's clash and our tipster backs the home side to see off Stefano Colantuono's men at San Siro
AC Milan will look to put a disappointing end to 2013 behind them when they play host to Atalanta in Serie A on Monday afternoon.

Massimiliano Allegri's side have won just one of their last nine league fixtures and suffered derby-day defeat at the hands of rivals Inter just before Christmas.

Despite their indifferent form, the hosts remain warm favourites to start 2014 with victory, with Paddy Power offering just 4/9 (1.44) that Milan claim all three points from Monday’s clash.

Atalanta were thumped 4-1 by league leaders Juventus in their last outing and it is worth noting that Stefano Colantuono's men have collected just four points from nine league matches on the road thus far this term.

Subsequently, the visitors are available at a chunky 13/2 (7.50) with Paddy Power to win in Milan while the draw is rated as a 16/5 (4.20) chance with the same firm here.

Prior to the 1-0 loss to Inter, Milan had scored seven goals in their previous three league fixtures and they will be eager to add to that tally against an Atalanta side who have kept just one clean sheet in their last 11 Serie A games.

Therefore, it is unsurprising that Paddy Power offer just 8/15 (1.53) that Milan score at least twice and, while it appears to be a solid selection, the price is too skinny to be appealing here.

Instead, punters are advised to take the 5/4 (2.25) quote from Paddy Power for Allegri's men to score in both halves of Monday's crunch clash.

Former Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has been a key man for Milan this term, netting six goals in 12 league appearances, and the 7/2 (4.50) quote offered up by Paddy Power for the 23-year-old front man to break the deadlock carries appeal here.

Milan may have been out of sorts so far this season but they will relish the opportunity to pick up maximum points against poor opposition and could do so in some style.

As a result, the 5/4 (2.25) quote from Paddy Power for the hosts to find the net in both halves is the recommended play for punters ahead of Monday's meeting.

Milan to score in both halves at 5/4 (2.25) 2pts with Paddy Power

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