Atalanta vs AC Milan
The Scudetto is already in Milan, in the hands of Antonio Conte’s Inter, but the race for Champions League places is at fever pitch, and Serie A: Atalanta vs Milan is the pick of the action as the Italian season comes to a dramatic close.
The final day will determine who qualifies for Europe’s flagship competition and, in a second versus third clash, Milan have the toughest task away to La Dea in Beragamo.
Gian Piero Gasperini’s Atalanta are at the head of four teams fighting for three Champions League places, down to Juventus in fifth; and the hosts are very nearly there, three points clear of Juve and two clear of Milan and Napoli, and with the best goal difference.
Andrea Pirlo’s Juventus finish with an away trip to mid-table Bologna, who are without a win in six, while Napoli host Hellas Verona, a place above Bologna in tenth, and also without a victory in six matches. Neither Juve nor Napoli is likely to slip up so, quite simply, Stefano Pioli must fashion a win for his side.
The pre-match Atalanta vs Milan betting odds point to a thrilling game, with the hosts at 2.65 and Milan at 2.43 and the draw is the outside bet at 3.55.
Atalanta’s deadly duo
Colombian strike partners Luis Muriel and Duvan Zapata have been at it again this season, scoring 22 and 15 goals respectively and they will give the Milan defence a serious test in the final game of the league campaign. Both have been on target in Atalanta’s last two games, Muriel in a 2-0 win over Benevento and Zapata as Atalanta won a seven goal thriller against Genoa.
La Dea has been one of the best attacking teams in Europe over the past two seasons and, alongside Zapata and Muriel, the speed and guile of Josip Ilicic has been pivotal as the Slovenian winger has contributed nine assists. And left wing back Robin Gosens has had a prolific season, scoring 11 goals.
Gasperini guided Atalanta to the Coppa Italia final but they fell just short, going down 2-1 to Juventus in hard fought game which saw skipper Rafael Tolou red carded. In the league La Dea is almost there, and they will be keen to finish on a high, by improving on last season’s third place finish.
Milan’s away trips are not to be missed
A trip away to Roma back in February turned out to be the first of six away victories in seven matches on the road for Pioli’s men, and that should give them confidence ahead of their journey to Bergamo.
Milan’s only recent set back, away from home, came on their return to Rome when they were thumped 3-0 by Lazio, but since then they have had a party in Turin. A 3-0 win away to Juventus seriously damaged the Old Lady’s top four hopes and I Rossoneri followed that up a stunning 7-0 victory away to Torino, a result which will have not amused Bianconeri fans, and should their team fail to make the top four they will almost certainly blame their city rivals!
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is top scorer for Milan with 15 goals, while Ante Rebic moved on to 11 with a second half hat-trick against Torino and Franck Kessie also reached 11 when he converted a penalty in that rout. Wing back Theo Hernandez is a real threat, with seven goals and five assists, while winger Hakan Calhanoglu has nine assists
Pioli has some very sharp tools in his possession, but can he finish the job?
I Rossoneri have dominated the head to heads, winning 20 to Atalanta’s ten of the last 43 meetings, but the recent Atalanta vs Milan results have gone the way of La Dea, who have won two and drawn one of the last three, beating Milan at the San Siro in January 0-3. Both Zapata and Ilicic were on target, along with Argentine defender Cristian Romero, as Atalanta stunned the then leaders and opened the door for Inter Milan’s charge to the Scudetto.
The hosts have a slight edge in terms of recent form, winning four of the last six games, in all competitions and losing just once, to Juventus in the Coppa final. Meanwhile Milan have won three, lost two and draw one over that period.