AC Milan v Atalanta – Preview: Repairing Team Egos

Date: 16th January 2015 at 9:07am
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On Sunday, Atalanta travel to the Stadio Meazza to face AC Milan, as the neighbouring teams will meet for the first time this season, after experiencing similarly devastating draws in both their last Serie A matches.

Milan drew Torino 1-1 in Turin, despite a positive start. A converted penalty in the opening minutes of the match put the Rossoneriahead, but they were unable to hold onto the lead, having to play the entire second half with only ten men, after Mattia De Sciglio was sent off. Torino’s Kamil Glik scored the equalizer in the last ten minutes of the match, stealing the three points from the Rossoneri.

Atlanta did not fare much better.

Playing at home against Chievo, La Dea took the lead mid-way through the second half. However, they also went down to ten men after Gianpaolo Bellini was sent off for getting two yellow cards within minutes of each other; Chievo went on to draw the match thanks to a freekick from Dejan Lazarevic in the 90th minute.

The last time these two teams met was in May 2014, with La Dea coming out on top 2-1 thanks to a 90th minute Franco Brienza strike, while last season’s corresponding match was a 3-0 win to Milan. Atalanta, though, do have a decent record against the home side, losing just six of the last 12 matches between the two, and did win at the San Siro in September 2012, 1-0.

The Rossoneri’s biggest win against Atalanta came on October 15, 1972. A 9-3 victory at the San Siro represents a league record for the most goals scored in a Serie A match since it became a single league format.

Despite being automatically suspended because of his sending off last weekend, De Sciglio would be out against Atalanta regardless; the defender suffered a foot injury during Milan’s mid-week 2-1 Coppa Italia win against Sassuolo, and will be out for a month. Fellow defender Cristian Zapata also was injured during the same match, fracturing the second metatarsal his right foot, and will also miss Sunday’s game.

Milan are also without Keisuke Honda, who is on international duty, representing Japan in the Asian Cup.

Out for Atalanta is defender Nicolo Cherubin, and midfielders Marcelo Estigarribia and Cristian Raimondi all with injury and the suspended Bellini from last weekend’s sending off.

Form Guide: AC Milan (W-D-W-L-D-W)  Atalanta (D-W-L-D-D-D)

Expected Starting XIs

Milan: Lopez; Abate, Rami, Mexes Armero; Poli, De Jong, Montolivo; Bonaventura, Menez, El Shaarawy

Atalanta: Sportiello; Benalouane, Stendardo, Biava, Drame; Zappacosta, Baselli, Carmona, Moralez; Pinilla, Denis


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