Atalanta vs. AC Milan 12/22/19 Italian Serie A Soccer Pick, Odds, and Prediction
12/22/19 6:30 am
Over 2.5 (-150), Under 2.5 (+120)
Atalanta is welcoming Milan to Gewiss Stadium in a neighborly derby in part of round 17 of Italian Serie A.
Atalanta is filled with confidence right now after a fantastic display of soccer in the Champions League last week against Shakhtar where they needed a win to get qualified to Top 16. Atalanta has won that match 0-3 and will be playing Valencia in the first round of knockouts in the Champions League, a team that Atalanta could beat. Atalanta is in 6th place in the Serie A standings with 28 points, 38 scored goals, and 25 conceded goals. Atalanta is playing amazing and entertaining soccer with a strong attack which makes them the best-attacking team in Serie A. In their last Serie match against Bologna away from home, Atalanta was the better team with 60% of ball possession, 5 shots on goal, 4 corner kicks, and 81% of the correct passes. I was watching a part of this game, and despite being the better team, Atalanta looked really tired after that emotional win in the Champions League when they got qualified to the Top 16 for the first time in the club’s history. Atalanta has lost this game 2-1 which was expected. Luis Muriel leads Atalanta with 9 goals in 14 games this season, while Zapata added 6 goals and Ilicic added 5 goals. Duvan Zapata was Atalanta’s best player last season and one of the best strikers in Serie A, but this season he is struggling with injuries and will not be in the lineup in this game. Coach Gasperini was criticized a lot during the group stage in the Champions League, especially after a loss against Dinamo Zagreb, but when it matters the most, he made the right tactical decisions and got qualified to the Top 16. I firmly believe that Gasperini is one of the best coaches in Serie A, and he is the best fit for this Atalanta team. I think that Atalanta has enough depth to end up in the top 4 in Serie A, and I think they will advance to quarterfinals in the Champions League, and after that, anything is possible.
Milan hasn’t lost any of their last 4 games and has won 2 of those 4, but those wins were very inconvincible wins. I am so disappointed in this Milan’s team and the club in general, and I absolutely can’t believe that the club that gave us players like Kaka, Shevchenko, Maldini, Nesta, Pirlo and bunch of other legends of this sport is doing this bad. With only 21 points, 16 scored goals, and 19 conceded goals, Milan is in 10th place and their hopes and dreams of competing with Inter, Juventus, Roma, and Lazio are just that, dreams. In their last Serie A game against Sassuolo at home, Milan had 49% of ball possession, 9 shots on goal, 8 corner kicks, and 82% of the correct passes. It’s hard to say what is the worst part of Milan this season, but their attack is a disaster and this match ended in 0-0 draw. Don’t get me wrong, Milan has some fantastic players like Piatek, Suso, Leao, Paqueta, Romagnoli, and Hernandez who are all individually skilled players, but as a team, they look like a group of kids in the schoolyard. None of this is player's fault and trust me I’m all for players taking some responsibility for bad results, but coach Pioli is the second coach this season in Milan that is not doing anything for this team to get better. Hernandez and Piatek have each scored 4 goals for Milan, while Suso has 2 assists. Duarte is injured, while Hernandez and Paqueta are suspended because of the yellow cards. I don’t have hope for this team, and I don’t trust them to turn things around, at least not completely. I think that Milan has to get rid of half of the players on this team, do a full rebuild before the end of this season, and focus on next season.
Atalanta hasn’t won any of their last 3 home games versus Milan. Atalanta will look to bounce back after last weekend's loss against Bologna, and I think they will get it done in front of their fans in this match.