Maurizio Lagana/Getty ImagesGabriel Paletta failed to make much of an impact in his six months with Milan before being loaned out to Atalanta at the start of this season. But, with his time at the Bergamo club coming to end in a few months’ time, he will be hoping to impress his old employers with a solid defensive showing this weekend. Giacomo Bonaventura will be in a not dissimilar position, as he too will face his old club on Sunday. The Milan winger came through Atalanta’s youth academy—renowned also for producing Riccardo Montolivo, among others—and, after a below-par period, will want to return to his best form on his old stomping ground. Key BattleIgnazio Abate has been excellent throughout the past few months for Milan, making it a small wonder that he was omitted from Antonio Conte’s Italy squad for the recent internationals. Abate has been crucial in recent months.
66' Substitution, Inter Milan. Denzel Dumfries replaces Matteo Darmian. Substitution, Inter Milan. Arturo Vidal replaces Hakan Calhanoglu. Foul by Matteo Darmian (Inter Milan). Giuseppe Pezzella (Atalanta) wins a free kick in the defensive half. 62' Hakan Calhanoglu (Inter Milan) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul. Foul by Hakan Calhanoglu (Inter Milan).
comForm GuideAtalanta 2-0 BolognaLazio 2-0 AtalantaAtalanta 0-2 JuventusCarpi 1-1 AtalantaAtalanta 2-3 FiorentinaMilan 1-1 LazioChievo 0-0 MilanSassuolo 2-0 MilanMilan 5-0 Alessandria (Coppa Italia)Milan 1-0 TorinoTeam NewsThe last time these two teams met—at the San Siro in November—Atalanta had the better of proceedings. Per WhoScored. com they had more possession and more shots as Gianluigi Donnarumma was forced into a game-saving performance. At the time, Mihajlovic favoured a 4-3-3, but those days are long gone. He has since fully implemented a 4-4-2 system, which has paid dividends. Now, Milan are a defensively solid, hard-working outfit with a clearer tactical shape, albeit one that doesn’t produce exciting football. They are, however, harder to open up and beat as a consequence.
76' Attempt missed. Danilo D'Ambrosio (Inter Milan) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Marcelo Brozovic with a cross. Attempt saved. Arturo Vidal (Inter Milan) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Joaquín Correa. 71' Attempt missed. Edin Dzeko (Inter Milan) header from very close range is just a bit too high. Assisted by Denzel Dumfries with a headed pass. 67' Substitution, Inter Milan. Joaquín Correa replaces Alexis Sánchez.
Lautaro Martínez replaces Edin Dzeko. Attempt missed. Merih Demiral (Atalanta) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. 81' Corner, Atalanta. Conceded by Samir Handanovic. Attempt saved. Luis Muriel (Atalanta) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Aleksey Miranchuk.
The former played against Lazio and put in a strong performance, setting up his team’s only goal of the match. The latter has also been showing the requisite dedication, with Mihajlovic telling Sky (h/t Goal), “His behaviour has been 10 out of 10 this year. … I wanted to look him in the eyes, and he gave me the right impression. The key thing is that he's a good lad, and I really like him. ”Adriano is likely to get the nod for this weekend, but he will be under scrutiny with Balotelli on the substitutes' bench eager to show what he can do. Sportiello is a consistent goalkeeper. Gabriele Maltinti/Getty ImagesAtalanta may have won just once in 2016, but they nonetheless possess several talented individuals that could help turn their season around. Goalkeeper Marco Sportiello is one of Italy’s most consistent; no-one in Serie A makes more tackles per game than defensive midfielder Marten de Roon, per WhoScored; and Alejandro Gomez is the team's star man whether playing out on the left wing or behind a striker.
55' Nicolò Barella (Inter Milan) wins a free kick in the defensive half. Foul by Remo Freuler (Atalanta). 51' Foul by Milan Skriniar (Inter Milan). Luis Muriel (Atalanta) wins a free kick in the attacking half. Attempt missed. Edin Dzeko (Inter Milan) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Alessandro Bastoni with a cross. 49' Corner, Inter Milan. Conceded by Berat Djimsiti.