Atalanta-Milan Preview: Battle in Bergamo

What was once always a tough match has become a meaningful battle for Milan fans, away to Atalanta in Bergamo. Since the refining fire of Pioli's worst defeat near the beginning of his tenure, a match he acknowledges forged the mentality that made this winning team, the games in Bergamo have meant more than just a football match. After publicly feuding with first his captain and then seeing his sporting director leave, too Atalanta seem to be unraveling under Gasperini, still the longest serving manager in Serie A. But in spite of a number of changes in the squad this summer, they pulled off a convincing win last weekend and it looks like Sunday will be yet another intense battle in Bergamo.

Déjà vu: Last week's battle of Soppy vs. Hernández could be repeated

While Atalanta loaned out the likes of Pessina, Miranchuk, Colley, and sold Remo Freuler, with Malinovskyi likely to depart by the end of the transfer window, they have invested in players like Ademola Lookman from RB Leipzig, Jérémie Boga from Sassuolo, Éderson from Sassuolo, Merih Demiral from Juventus, and just this week, Brandon Soppy from Udinese. Yes, that is the same Soppy we faced last week vs. Udinese, and we could likely face him in back to back games if he plays on Sunday. 

Atalanta also have an unusual situation in that Palomino failed a drug test this summer and has been suspended, so is not available. Ederson and Carnesecchi are out injured, so will not be available for this match. Despite being likely to be transferred, Malinovskyi is called up for this match. Gasperini has called up a total of 21 players for our trip to Bergamo.

Even when things are unravelling, General Gasp is still there

Pioli got good news this week when Tonali returned to full training with the team midweek. However, having only Ibrahimović out recuperating would have been too good to be true. So in Pioli's press conference, we learned that Krunić suffered a thigh strain. His medical tests are still pending, but early estimates are that he could be out as long as a month, which is a lot of matches with this condensed schedule.

The good news is that our last two outings to Bergamo have been triumphant. There was our 2-0 blanking of Atalanta in May of 2021 that sealed our return to the Champions League, as well as the birth of the enduring anthem "Pioli is on Fire." Last season, we went to Bergamo week seven and struggled after suffering injustice midweek in the Champions League and carrying plenty of injuries, but were able to pull off a 3-2 win against Atalanta anyway. And who can forget Theo Hernández's goal of the season when we hosted Atalanta in May?

A new look for the Scudetto-winning coach

Hopefully, Milan will be able to continue their winning trend, not just in the league, but also against Atalanta. Gasperini's side are a bit unpredictable, with so many new players, but never to be underestimated. Milan have a few new players of our own that could be rolled out, but a much more consistent side overall. This will be a tough test to see if the Scudetto patch is a weight for the players or if it gives them continued confidence to keep winning. Don't let anyone convince you otherwise, it will be a true battle in Bergamo.

This post inspired by the music of John Williams' "Duel of the Fates"

Our next match is 
Serie A Week 2
Atalanta vs. Milan
Sunday, August 21 • 11:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT)
This match can be streamed live on Paramount+ in the U.S.

Atalanta-Milan Preview: Battle in Bergamo Atalanta-Milan Preview: Battle in Bergamo Reviewed by Elaine on 4:30 PM Rating: 5
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