Preview: Milan vs Atalanta – Team News, Lineups & Prediction

There’s no better way to cap off Sunday’s exciting Serie A schedule than a top-four six-pointer between Milan and Atalanta. Stadio San Siro forms the backdrop for the third competitive meeting between familiar foes in 2023/24.

So far, so good for Atalanta. After a pulsating 3-2 defeat in the reverse fixture in Bergamo, Milan squandered a lead to lose 2-1 at home in Coppa Italia action last month. Under-pressure manager Stefano Pioli is hellbent on repaying his La Dea counterpart, Gian Piero Gasperini, the kindness amidst Rossoneri’s drop-off in form.

Fielding a second-string lineup at Monza last weekend returned like a bullet as Milan slipped to a dismal 4-2 loss at Stadio Brianteo. But while that disappointment halted the club’s chances of lifting a landmark 20th Scudetto, respite came on Thursday as Rossoneri sealed progression into the Europa League last-16.

It was messy, though. After a 3-0 first-leg win at home, Milan lost 3-2 at Rennes in the return leg but still reached the next knockout stage as 5-3 aggregate winners. Visiting Atalanta will join their hosts in the Europa League round of 16, though for now, they bid to heap more pressure on Pioli. 

Unlike their hosts, Atalanta will take the field in high spirits following a five-match winning streak in Serie A. Last week’s 3-0 demolition of Sassuolo brought La Dea to the cusp of six consecutive top-flight victories for the first time since December 2021. As bizarre as it sounds, San Siro could provide a perfect setting. 

Match Preview


Losing both encounters against Atalanta this season has barely surprised Milan fans. Gasperini’s men have been a thorn in Rossoneri’s side for years. It’s fair to say they’ve been Milan’s ‘kryptonite,’ perhaps best evidenced by avoiding defeat in eight of their last ten competitive clashes at San Siro (W4, D4). Maybe the time has come for a script flip. 

Not since losing to Udinese in November have Milan lost a Serie A game on home turf. In fact, they’ve emerged victorious from six of their seven such fixtures (D1), racking up four clean sheets in that sequence. Upholding that record against Atalanta could be a season-defining moment for Pioli’s troops.

With seven points separating the sides ahead of the kick-off, a win would put Milan in a comfortable position amid a fiercely-contested battle for a top-four finish.


With a game in hand, Atalanta would make a significant stride in closing the gap on third-placed Milan and boosting their chances of returning to the Champions League after a two-year hiatus. The visitors have an eye-catching five-game winning league streak to substantiate their lofty ambitions.

On top of that, Gasperini has recovered Atalanta’s former glitter in the front third. His men averaged an intimidating 3.4 goals per game during that winning streak, underscoring the potential for another free-scoring contest. Yet, La Dea fans would be wise not to get ahead of themselves without peeking into the visiting side’s recent track record on the road.

Before a 4-1 humbling of Genoa on their last Serie A journey, Atalanta had gone winless in four successive away league games (D2, L2). That run should be enough to make them keep their feet firmly on the ground.

Team News

After welcoming Malick Thiaw back from injury, Milan boss Pioli will soon have Pierre Kalulu at his disposal. But this game will come too early for the Frenchman and his defensive colleague Mattia Caldara. Luka Jovic is out of contention for the matchday squad after picking up a silly red against Monza last time out.

On the other hand, Atalanta will take this trip without winter arrival Isak Hien and long-serving defender Jose Luis Palomino. Gasperini will turn to Milan loanee Charles De Ketelaere to lead the line as the Belgian forward enjoys a renaissance in Bergamo following an embarrassing maiden Serie A campaign with Rossoneri last term.

Milan vs Atalanta Potential Lineups

Milan (4-2-3-1): Mike Maignan; Davide Calabria, Matteo Gabbia, Simon Kjaer, Theo Hernandez; Yacine Adli, Tijjani Reijnders; Christian Pulisic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Rafael Leao; Olivier Giroud.

Atalanta (3-4-2-1): Marco Carnesecchi; Giorgio Scalvini, Berat Djimsiti, Sead Kolasinac; Emil Holm, Marten De Roon, Ederson, Matteo Ruggeri; Teun Koopmeiners, Aleksey Miranchuk; Charles De Ketelaere.

Milan vs Atalanta Prediction 

This clash can go either way, but given the stakes, we expect both managers to take a cautious approach despite a high-scoring theme in both teams’ recent fixtures. While the H2H ledger favors Atalanta, we back Milan to protect their home fortress and keep three points at San Siro.

Prediction: Milan Win

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