Milan-Atalanta Preview: Heartbeat

There will be a lot of noise in Milano on Sunday evening. The San Siro is sold out, there were actually a reported total of 200,000 requests for tickets, and reports that a million people from out of town will descend upon the city. The cheers, chants, and drums will all be covering a single unifying sound: the heartbeat of those who bleed red and black. In this final home match, the penultimate in the Scudetto race, and the second to last chance that the Italian Referee Association have to finish their job for Inter this season, Rossoneri hearts will be united hoping for another spectacular Milan performance against a slippery Atalanta side.

Holding our hearts in his hands

Atalanta come into this match desperate to grab a Europa League or Conference League spot, tied on 59 points with Roma and Fiorentina, all of them just three points behind Lazio. While they will rue dropped points and disappointing form, coming into this match with a L-W-D-D-W record, they will be highly motivated to make up for it against Milan on Sunday. Not only to avenge recent losses to Milan in Bergamo, but to remind us of that fateful Christmas massacre in Bergamo in 2019. Plus, Milan secured our first trip back to the Champions League away to Atalanta last year, I'm sure they wouldn't mind returning the favor.

Gasperini was able to turn the tide a bit and navigate a 3-1 win over Spezia last week. For that match, he lined up Musso; de Roon, Palomino, Djimsiti; Zappacosta, Koopmeiners, Freuler, Maehle; Malinovskyi, former Milan loanee Pasalic; and Muriel. He has Zapata back healthy, but will be missing Ilicic, Toloi, and Pezzella for this match. Gasperini is also rumored to switch to a back four, but don't be surprised if he sticks with his three man back line.

Will Atalanta be able to stop the on fire Leão?

Pioli will be missing Kjaer, and possibly Daniel Maldini as of this writing. That's it. Amazing, right? He will also have the San Siro absolutely rocking, completely sold out, with fans likely to be outside the stadium as well. However, he has five players in danger of suspension – Tomori, Kalulu, Romagnoli, Leão, and Brahim Díaz. If they exhale incorrectly or look at the referee wrong, they will be suspended for our final match against Sassuolo. As he mentioned ahead of the Fiorentina match, they will need "Fire in our hearts and ice in our veins" to manage the pressure.

Speaking of referees, will they be impartial? Orsato has been assigned to this match, with Irrati on VAR, both experienced, unlike some of the embarrassments we have seen at San Siro earlier this season. But given the refereeing midweek, it is difficult to believe in impartiality. Especially when you consider that Milan have not been awarded a penalty since January, and the only time head referees have even gone to look at the VAR monitor in a Milan match since that time was to penalize Milan.

Our hearts will be pounding, hoping for this sign of victory

So much is on the line. With a Milan win and anything but a win from Inter just afterward in their match away to Cagliari, Milan could secure the Scudetto on Sunday. Or, it could go down to the final match, which is most likely. But with a single whistle from a referee in either match, or a muttering in the earpiece from a VAR official, and the Scudetto could be grabbed from our hands and given to Inter. That is why, more than usual, Milan fans are so tense for these final two games. And that is why, below all of the cheers, chants, and drums, behind the 12th coreografia from the Curva Sud this season, you will hear the pounding, rhythmic beat of millions of Rossoneri from all over the world up through the final whistle. You will hear our hearts pounding out of our chests, the collective heartbeat of those who bleed red and black.

This post inspired by the music of the Psychedelic Furs' "Heartbeat"

Serie A Week 37
Milan vs. Atalanta
Sunday, May 15 • 18:00 CEST (12noon EDT)
This match can be streamed LIVE on Paramount+ in the U.S.
or viewed LIVE on CBS Sports in the U.S.

Milan-Atalanta Preview: Heartbeat Milan-Atalanta Preview: Heartbeat Reviewed by Elaine on 5:20 AM Rating: 5
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