Milan vs Atalanta: Serie A Preview, Lineups & Prediction

Sunday’s Serie A program closes out with a mouth-watering contest between fierce top-four rivals Milan and Atalanta at the Stadio San Siro. Even though the visitors start this round sixth in the standings, this fixture has all the makings of a top-four six-pointer. 

Following an embarrassing seven-game winless run in all competitions at the start of 2023 (D2, L5), reigning Serie A champions Milan seem to be building a head of steam. A hat-trick of 1-0 victories in the build-up to this match-up, including last weekend’s triumph at newcomers Monza, helped under-pressure boss Stefano Pioli steady the ship.

In addition to overcoming a rotten spell of form and storming back into the Serie A top four, Milan ousted Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie during that patch. But despite putting one foot in what would be their first quarter-finals appearance since 2011/12, the Rossoneri still have to worry about their top-four prospects in Serie A.

Only two points clear of fifth-placed Lazio and three of sixth-placed Atalanta, Milan cannot settle for a draw in this behemoth fixture. The same goes for La Dea. Gian Piero Gasperini’s men have alternated between winning and not winning in their last five league matches (W2, D1, L2). 

And while Atalanta could be forgiven for losing at Sassuolo at the beginning of February, last weekend’s 2-1 home defeat to promoted Lecce left a bitter taste in visiting fans’ mouths. Amends for that disappointment could be a powerful motive at the San Siro, where they succumbed to a clear-cut 2-0 loss last season. 



Before the abovementioned triumph, Milan had gone winless in seven successive home league meetings with Atalanta beforehand (D4, L3). With that in mind, Pioli could become the first Rossoneri manager to beat La Dea at home in consecutive Serie A seasons since Fabio Capello in 1994. 

Worryingly, though, Milan have picked up only one point in their last four league encounters against teams starting the matchday in the top six (D1, L3) since beating fierce rivals Inter in September. That’s an added motive for Pioli’s charges to post a fourth straight win without conceding for the first time since February 2018.

Player to Watch: Rafael Leao 

Rafael Leao was on the scoresheet when Milan thumped Atalanta at home last season. However, the sought-after forward has gone seven league appearances without a goal contribution in the build-up and will be desperate to get back on the rails this weekend. 


A closely-contested 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture in Bergamo snapped Atalanta’s poor run of three Serie A losses to Milan. The last time La Dea went five consecutive top-flight meetings with the Rossoneri without winning was between 2008 and 2012. 

Gasperini’s side will have to play out of their skin to avoid matching that unwanted feat after suffering three defeats in their last four outings in all competitions (W1). Yet their only triumph in that sequence was a 2-0 beating of Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico. It means Atalanta could win back-to-back Serie A games on the road for the first time since September 2022.

Player to Watch: Rasmus Hojlund

Atalanta prodigy Rasmus Hojlund is the fifth youngest non-Italian player in a three-point-per-win era to register a minimum of six goals within his first 20 Serie A appearances. His sixth strike in the competition came against Lecce last time out. 

Team News

Milan will be without long-term absentees Mike Maignan and Alessandro Florenzi. While Zlatan Ibrahimovic returned to the fold, this fixture will come too soon for Ismael Bennacer and Davide Calabria.

On the other hand, Atalanta cannot call upon the services of Duvan Zapata, Hans Hateboer, and Merih Demiral. Mario Pasalic’s availability is still up in the air.

Milan vs Atalanta Potential Lineups

Milan (4-3-2-1): Ciprian Tatarusanu; Pierre Kalulu, Malick Thiaw, Fikayo Tomori; Junior Messias, Sandro Tonali, Rade Krunic, Theo Hernandez; Rafael Leao, Brahim Diaz; Olivier Giroud. 

Atalanta (3-4-2-1): Juan Musso; Jose Luis Palomino, Berat Djimsiti, Rafael Toloi; Davide Zappacosta, Teun Koopmeiners, Ederson, Joakim Maehle; Ademola Lookman, Luis Muriel; Rasmus Hojlund. 

Milan vs Atalanta Prediction

This contest will go down to the wire in all likelihood, but we’d give Milan a slight edge, given Atalanta’s troublesome form. Both sides have plenty of ammunition in the front third, so a high-scoring affair is also on the cards.

Prediction: Milan Win

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