Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Prediction: Atalanta vs AC Milan

Verdict: Over 2,5 goals – yes

Best Odds: 4/5

Bookmaker: 888sport

An intense battle in the race for a UEFA Europa League berth will take place this Sunday at Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia, as Atalanta will host AC Milan in a fierce duel between two sides that are looking to play in a European competition in the 2018-19 campaign. Atalanta might have the edge when it comes to home-field advantage, but Milan have the edge in the standings. Without a doubt, this is a game no one wants to miss!

Atalanta

Atalanta have spent most of the season in the UEFA Europa League qualification zone but they have dropped to seventh place of late. Even though that will still be enough to reach the tournament given Juventus’ title in the Coppa Italia, Atalanta can’t take anything for granted with only two games left in the schedule. And if we add the fact that Fiorentina are breathing down their neck just two points behind them, then this is a must-win game for the neroazzurri side. One thing that has been positive for them is their recent form; they are riding a six-game undefated streak (W3, D3) and, if we only take the last five games into account, then they are the fourth-best team in the league over that span with 11 points (W3. D2). Will that form translate to another good result here in a pivotal contest?

Team News

Atalanta do not have confirmed absentees. However, up to three players could end up missing Sunday’s contest.

Filippo Melegoni (ankle), Luca Rizzo (thigh) and Leonardo Spinazzola (knee) are doubtful. All three will require a late-fitness test to determine their availability.

AC Milan

After weeks of trailing Atalanta, AC Milan finally topped them and now they sit in sixth place of the Serie A standings and if the season ended today, they would clinch a spot in the UEFA Europa League berth, competition they already played during the current term and where they were eliminated by Arsenal. The Rossonero have not had the best form of late, however, as they have won just three of their last 10 games across all competitions (W3, D3, L4) and are coming off a huge 0-4 loss in the Coppa Italia final earlier this week against Juventus. That loss could end up being a blessing in disguise, however, as they have a three-point gap over the eighth place in the standings. In other words, they are likely to clinch a Europa League berth barring a massive catastrophe. But this is not they were hoping for considering all the transfer moves they made this past summer.

Team News

AC Milan are almost at full strength ahead of this game.

The lone absentee will be Andrea Conti, who is out for the remainder of the season with a knee injury.

Key Factors to Consider

  • AC Milan are riding a two-game winning streak in the Serie A. However, they endured a six-game winless run prior to that.
  • On the other hand, Atalanta are riding a six-game undefeated streak of their own. They have conquered 12 out of 18 possible points over that span.
  • The reverse fixture between these two sides ended with a 2-0 away win for Atalanta.
  • In fact, Milan have not won against Atalanta in any of their past five Serie A meetings, with three draws and two losses over that span.
  • If the season ended today, both teams would qualify to the UEFA Europa League. But they can’t take anything for granted, so this game is a must-win contest for both teams.

Conclusion

Both Milan and Atalanta have seen over 2,5 goals scored in three of their last four games across all competitions. Expect that trend to maintain here, especially considering what’s at stake here.

Verdict: Over 2,5 goals – yes

Best Odds: 4/5

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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