​Milan host Serie A outfit Atalanta st the San Siro on Saturday evening, and a win for the home side would see them go above their opponents in the league rankings.


After a summer of crazy spending, the Rossoneri have been somewhat disappointing in the league so far. They currently sit eighth in Serie A and 18 points away from leaders ​Napoli. Due to their poor start, the aim for ​Milan this campaign is surely to qualify for the Europa League. 

As for the visitors, it has been a good start to the 2017/18 season, as they sit seventh in ​Serie A and are through to the next round of the Europa League. A win would open up a three point gap between themselves and their opponents.


Classic Encounter


As you would expect, Milan come out on top in the overall head-to-head between the two sides, however in the 2007/08 season Atalanta shocked Serie A by picking up all three points against what was at the time an incredible Milan side.


Atalanta traveled to the San Siro in March of 2008, with not much of hope of a victory. Despite being underdogs, it was the away side that took the lead through Italian forward Sergio Floccari. Soon after it was 2-0 to the visitors, after a goal from Antonio Langella.

Milan v Atalanta - Serie A

The fight back from Milan was very weak. They failed to create any real chances of note, but in the 85th minute they were handed a lifeline, after Paolo Maldini struck to bring the score to 1-2. 


The goal rejuvenated the home side, however their luck turned when Italy legend Alessandro Nesta was sent off just two minutes after Maldini's goal.


The drama didn't end there however. In the 89th minute, Milan were given the chance to save their blushes when they were awarded a penalty. Up stepped Andrea Pirlo, but the Italian missed his spot-kick and Atalanta ran out as winners.

A.C. Milan's midfielder Massimo Ambrosin

AC Milan finished fifth in what was the beginning of their demise, and Atalanta finished in ninth spot.


Key Battles


Mateo Mussachio vs Alejandro Gomez


Mateo Mussachio is set to replace the suspended Alessio Romagnoli at the back. The ex-Villarreal man has not featured as much as he would have liked, especially after his big money move in the summer.

Atalanta BC v Spal - Serie A

Alejandro Gomez has continued to gain admirers for his performances in both the league and Europa League. The Argentine was brilliant for Atalanta last year, and this season has carried on in the same manner.


It will be a tough test for Mussachio to contain Gomez, but if he is successful in doing so, then Milan could well clinch victory.


Ignazio Abate vs Josip Ilicic


At the age of 31, Ignazio Abate seems to be entering the twilight of his career. The right-back has only featured eight times this season and is in line to start at the weekend.

SSC Napoli v AC Milan - Serie A

Slovenian Josip Ilicic​ has impressed this season in Serie A. The attacker has scored six times, assisting four goals. At 29, the forward is definitely in the prime of his career and will be looking to add to both his goalscoring and assist tally against Milan.


Despite Ilicic playing as a central attacking midfielder, it could be the case that Atalanta target Abate as a weakness, and they have the perfect man to exploit that weakness in the Slovenian. It seems like Ilicic will come out on top in this battle, and could well be the match winner.


Team News

FBL-ITA-SERIEA-AC-MILAN-BOLOGNA

Alessio Romagnoli is suspended for the game, after picking up his fifth yellow against Verona last week. Star man Suso is also missing, after he received a red card in the dying moments of his side's defeat last weekend.


There are no new injury concerns for Atalanta and no players are at risk of suspension heading into the game.


Potential Milan Lineup: Donnarumma, Abate, Mussachio, Bonucci, Rodriguez, Kessie, Montolivo, Bonaventura, Calhanoglu, Curtone, Borini.


Potential Atalanta Lineup: Berisha - Masiello, Caldara, Palomino, Hateboer, Cristante, Freuler, Spinazzola, Gomez, Ilicic, Petagna.


Prediction

Genoa CFC v Atalanta BC - Serie A

Although at home, a win for the away side is on the cards. Atalanta have been in good form of late, and another win is likely against an underwhelming AC Milan side.


AC Milan 1-2 Atalanta