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Key Battles and Prediction: Atalanta vs AC Milan

The side are in search of another three points quite close to home as Pioli figures out how to best manage the attack.

Zalaegerszegi TE v AC Milan - Pre-season Friendly Photo by Claudio Villa/AC Milan via Getty Images

AC Milan take on Atalanta in Bergamo tonight as the side search for their second win of the new campaign as Stefano Pioli looks to defend his title. Milan will need to manage the midfield battle in this game as both defences do not look the sharpest but both attacks are firing on all cylinders. Here are some key battles to look out for in this one:

Key Battles

Left attacking midfielder vs Central defensive midfielder

Ademola Lookman vs Sandro Tonali

Gasperini’s new signing lit up the opening day of the league and bagged a debut goal. He is fast and strong but more importantly has quick feet to turn and dribble inward. He will be running at Calabria all game hence Tonali has a critical role to double up on him and pressure him wide and to make mistakes. He has a qicked cross and Zapata is their target man in the box so a concentrated effort by Tonali and the defence to limit and clear the crosses will be the determining factor for our clean sheet.

Central midfielder vs Central defensive midfielder

Martin de Roon vs Ismael Bennacer

If there’s one thing the Rossoneri faithful love, it’s shutting up de Roon and the responsibility now switch from Kessie to Bennacer. The Dutchman is often trying to muscle his way through games and makes really poor tackles against us earning him reds before but no Bennacer has the job of taking him on and keeping him quiet. As seen in the previous one, the little Algerian in more than capable of holding his position amidst physical tackles and crucially not losing the ball in the middle of the park. It should be a tough match up but one Bennacer can do well in if he combines with Tonali going forward.

Left winger vs Centre back

Rafael Leao vs Rafael Toloi

Leao will definitely get doubled up on by Toloi and Hateboer but this is a game he enjoys and can use his speed and the open spaces down the wing to break that defensive line. Leao is yet to score his opening goal of the season and will want to continue his stellar form from last season but looked slightly lethargic in the opener. Look out for Rebic playing him in more in this one as there were some flashes in the previous one but it did not work out. The battle of the Rafa’s will be a key one as it’s likely de Roon will bully Diaz while Djimsiti presses Messias into tight positions.


Tonali Winner

Bennacer Winner

Leao Winner