AC Milan - Atalanta Preview: Rossoneri aim to keep pressure on Juventus
Allegri's side have the advantage of home soil when they take on the visitors from Bergamo and will be hoping for a slip-up from the Bianconeri in Round 36
By Adam Scime
Abate, Bonera, Yepes, Antonini
Nocerino, Ambrosini, Muntari
Ibrahimovic, El Shaarawy
Raimondi, Stendardo, Manfredini, Peluso
Schelotto, Cigarini, Cazzola, Bonaventura
Coming off a one-sided 4-1 victory over Siena, AC Milan will be looking to keep the pressure on league leaders Juventus, who they trail by three points, with another resounding result.
Coach Massimiliano Allegri, however, will still be without centre-back Thiago Silva, who will not be risked ahead of the derby against Inter on Sunday while the trainer also admitted Philippe Mexes is not in the best shape, so Daniele Bonera and Mario Yepes could make up the central defensive pairing once again.
Captain Massimo Ambrosini's recovery is a boost to the midfield, but Urby Emanuelson trained separately during the week and is unlikely to be fit in time for the clash at San Siro. Antonio Cassano, who scored his first goal since returning from heart surgery on Sunday, is likely to start from the bench with either Robinho or Stephan El Shaarawy partnering Zlatan Ibrahimovic up front.
Meanwhile, playmaker Luca Cigarini should return to the starting line-up for Atalanta. Coach Stefano Colantuono looks set to pick veteran hitman Simone Tiribocchi ahead of the more flashy Maxi Moralez and Italy Under-21 striker Manolo Gabbiadini up front.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- AC Milan have won three of their last four league matches since a shock 2-1 home loss against Fiorentina on April 7.
- The Rossoneri have the best attack in the top flight, having scored 68 times in 35 matches this season.
- Cassano scored his first goal since October 15 in the win over Siena.
- Atalanta are the only side outside of the top three with less then 10 losses in Serie A this season.
- Colantuono's side have won just two of their last 10 away matches, and only won four times on the road all season.
- The Bergamo-based team have been unable to beat Milan in their last five attempts, last defeating them 2-1 in March 2008.
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Top 3 Predictions
AC Milan 3-0 Atalanta
- 22.91 %
AC Milan 2-0 Atalanta
- 12.75 %
AC Milan 4-0 Atalanta
- 10.4 %
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Jan 6, 2014||AC Milan 3 - Atalanta 0|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Jan 27, 2013||Atalanta 0 - AC Milan 1|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Sep 15, 2012||AC Milan 0 - Atalanta 1|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||May 2, 2012||AC Milan 2 - Atalanta 0|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Jan 8, 2012||Atalanta 0 - AC Milan 2|
|Mar 11, 2014||Atletico Madrid 4 - AC Milan 1||UCL|
|Mar 8, 2014||Udinese 1 - AC Milan 0||ITA1|
|Mar 2, 2014||AC Milan 0 - Juventus 2||ITA1|
|Feb 23, 2014||Sampdoria 0 - AC Milan 2||ITA1|
|Feb 19, 2014||AC Milan 0 - Atletico Madrid 1||UCL|
|2||Mattia De Sciglio||Defender|
|17||Mark van Bommel||Midfielder|
|8||Gennaro Ivan Gattuso||Midfielder|
|-||Adriano Ferreira Pinto||Midfielder|
The Sweden international picked up a goal and an assist in the reverse fixture in January and with 26 league goals to his name already he will be eager to not only gather three points, but keep adding to his tally at the top of the Serie A scoring charts in 2011-12.
If there is someone who will be looking to take advantage of the absence of Thiago Silva it will certainly be Denis, the former Napoli and Udinese striker struck his first goal since the end of February on the weekend and the club's fans will hope it is a sign he is returning to form.
The Rossoneri attack came to life against Siena after some lacklustre displays and one would expect them to be in good spirits after that resounding victory. Atalanta, who have been inconsistent on the road, are unlikely to walk away with any points as Allegri's men know nothing less then a victory will do to keep them in the Scudetto race.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed