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Serie A

Atalanta vs AC Milan

Aug 16_Atalanta-vs-AC-Milan

Preview And Predictions 

The Serie A is back! AC Milan will face their first stern test on the journey to defend their title they won in May on Saturday as they face Gasperini’s Atalanta side. For most bookmakers, Stefano Pioli’s men remain the favourites to retain the title, with most of their rivals still rebuilding. 

For the Rossoneri, not much has changed from last season in terms of the core personnel. Stefano Pioli is keeping faith with his young guns. This summer, they have signed one of Belgium’s huge prospects, Charles De Ketelaere from Club Brugge. Divock Origi on a free transfer is another new entrant, alongside Yacine Adli, back from loan at Bordeaux last season.  

In the season opener against Udinese, Milan showed some flaws and went behind early. Thankfully for Rossoneri fans, Anton Rebic was in inspired form, scoring two goals to seal a 4-2 win.  

Atalanta were more assured in their opening day win as new signing, Ademola Lookman scored an injury time debut goal as they claimed a 2-0 win over Sampdoria. 

Gian Pero Gasperini will now be out to better last season’s disappointing 8th-place finish. 

 

H2H 

In the last 30 meetings, Atalanta has won 10 games to Milan’s 13 wins. The remaining seven matches have been draws. 

Last season, Milan defeated Gasperini’s men in both home and away games. The Rossoneri ‘s 2-0 win in May came courtesy of Rafael Leao and Theo Hernandez. The Brazilian forward also got amongst the goals in a 3-2 win at the Atleti Azzurri d’Italia. 

Atalanta last won this fixture in January 2021. 

Form Guide 

Atalanta recorded mixed results in pre-season; two wins and two losses. However, they have begun the season on a convincing note (W-L-L-W-W). 

Milan were simply impregnable in pre-season, defeating all five comers. They also defeated Udinese last Saturday. (W-W-W-W-W). 

 

Team News 

Atalanta 

The Bergamo-based side will be without Jose Luis Palomino, who has been suspended for failing a doping test. 

Merih Demiral (knee) and Davide Zappacosta (muscle) are both out of Sunday night’s encounter. 

Predicted XI: Juan Musso, Berat Djimsiti, Caleb Okoli, Rafael Toloi, Joakim Maehle, Teun Koopmeiners, Marten de Roon, Hans Hateboer, Ademola Lookman, Duvan Zapata, Luis Muriel (3-5-2). 

AC Milan 

Sandro Tonali is out injured alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who underwent surgery in May. The veteran forward is not expected to feature for the champions until 2023. 

Predicted XI: Mike Maignan, Theo Hernandez, Fikayo Tomori, Pierre Kalulu, Davide Calabria, Alexis Saelemaekers, Ismaël Bennacer; Rafael Leao, Brahim Diaz, Charles De Ketelaere, Anton Rebic (4-3-3) 

 

Tactical Battle 

While Gasperini’s side remain one of the most entertaining sides in Serie A even if they can appear unmotivated at times.  

The Atleti Azzurri d’Italia was hardly a fortress last season, with La Dea only managing four wins. This is a record Gasperini will be keen to arrest. 

The hosts like to be expressive, committing numbers in attack and playing with rehearsed movements. However, Toloi and Maehle might be required to sit in and contain Ketelaere and Leao on the flanks. 

Luis Muriel remains one of the most lethal forwards in the division. Yet, he will have his work cut out against Tomori. Lookman will be brimming with confidence after scoring in his first match. His pace will be pivotal, especially against Hernandez, who has a penchant for dribbling into the opponent’s final third. 

Rebic will fancy his chances to run in behind the opposition’s defence. He will have hopes of replicating his performance against Udinese in Bergamo. If Bennacer can gain control of the midfield, it is fair to expect Milan to dominate proceedings. 

Olivier Giroud has shown a knack for scoring in the big games since joining the Rossoneri. If he starts or comes on early, he can do that once again here. 

Key Stats 

  • Atalanta have failed to win any of their last six home matches. 
  • AC Milan are unbeaten in their last 17 Serie A games. 
  • Milan have scored at least two goals in each of their last three matches against this opponent. 
  • Pioli has won his opening two matches since joining Milan. 

Predictions: 

Goal/goal @1.58 

Over 2.5 goals @1.75 

Over 1.5 goals @ 1.25 

 

Bet on more Serie A matches this weekend with BetKing! 

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