Date: 16 February 2019
Time: 8:30 PM Rome, 2:30 PM Eastern, 7:30 PM UTC
Venue: Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia, Bergamo, Italy
Previous Result: September 23rd, 2018: Milan 2-2 Atalanta
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Probable lineup vs. Atalanta (4-3-3):— Milan Eye (@MilanEye) February 15, 2019
Donnarumma; Calabria, Musacchio, Romagnoli, Rodríguez; Kessié, Bakayoko, Paquetá; Suso, Piątek, Çalhanoglu [@MilanNewsit]
If the reported lineups are to be believe, Gennaro Gattuso seems to be going with the “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” philosophy of picking out lineups. And to be honest, given the successes of the past few weeks, who can blame him?
Kryzsztof Piatek has been an incredible addition since coming over from Genoa, and Lucas Paquetà has been brilliant as well, supplying the creativity and playmaking that had been lacking in the midfield since Giacomo Bonventura had been sidelined with injury. Tiémoué Bakayoko and Franck Kessie have supported each other perfectly as well, with Bakayoko practicing the dark arts of defensive midfield play while Kessie has been a willing runner in a box-to-box midfield role.
Hakan Calhanoglu hasn’t been great, but he’s getting closer to the form that saw him look irreplaceable at the end of last season. And while Suso isn’t putting up the numbers like he did in the first half of the season, that’s largely because Milan now have options and don’t have to resort to playing “Suso-ball,” where passing it to the Spaniard is the only option on offense.
The defensive rock of Alessio Romagnoli and Mateo Musacchio has been solid in front of an in-form Gigio Donnarumma, and the fullback pairing of Davide Calabria and Ricardo Rodriguez has been effective at supporting the defense and the offense, with Calabria’s offensive ability shining through particularly well.
Atalanta are challenging for the European places, and Milan will need to step up and ensure a win on the road in order to stay in pole position for fourth place. Given the meltdown at crosstown rivals Inter Milan, even third place isn’t out of the question. Winning in Bergamo will go a long way towards ensuring that Milan stay on track to hit their goals this season.