AC Milan vs Atalanta preview: Juve slip keeps La Dea title hopes alive

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AC Milan vs Atalanta preview

Atalanta can move to within three points of Serie A table toppers Juventus if they win at the San Siro this evening.

Udinese’s injury time winner yesterday condemned the Old Lady to their fourth defeat in eight away games and ensured that the enthralling title race in Italy is far from over.

Second-placed Atalanta are unbeaten in their last 15 league matches, winning eight of their 10 games since the restart.

They have been one of the best attacking sides in Europe this campaign, notching an astonishing 95 league goals at an average of 2.7 goals per game. They have also become the first Serie A side for 70 years to have three separate players score 15 or more goals in a league season – Luis Muriel (18), Duván Zapata (17) and Josip Ilicic (15).

Following their 5-0 demolition of tonight’s opponents in the reverse fixture in Bergamo back in December, La Dea will be looking to secure their first league double over AC Milan since 2007-08.

However, defeat for Atalanta tonight would dump them out of the title race, leaving third-placed Inter Milan as the only team who could prevent Juventus from winning their ninth successive Scudetto.

Tonight’s hosts have been the other standout performers in Serie A since the restart, winning seven of their nine games and drawing two. Their form has been enough for manager Stefano Pioli to be rewarded with a two-year contract extension, ending the intense speculation that he was to be replaced as the end of the campaign.

Their upturn in form has been the result of a vast improvement in font of goal, with the Rossoneri scoring a league-high 27 goals in their last nine games. This run has seen them climb into the top six, leaving them on the brink of qualifying for European football after missing out last season.

Milan have often had the better of this fixture over the years, winning 51 of the 117 Serie A matches between the sides (drawing 42 and losing just 24). However, the Bergamo side have the upper hand in recent years having lost just one of the last seven clashes, winning three and keeping five clean sheets in the process.

Did You Know?

Since the Serie A restart in June, Atalanta and AC Milan are the two teams with the highest points per game (2.6).

Atalanta manager Gian Piero Gasperini has an identical record against AC Milan in Serie A, with seven wins, seven draws and seven losses.

With four goals and one assist, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been involved in five goals in his last four outings against Atalanta.

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