Milan v Atalanta, Preview: Does Milan Really Have It All Figured Out?

The season started off in a crushing fashion for AC Milan. Having already lost their best players to Paris Saint-Germain, and declining to renew the contracts of their most venerable veterans, the rossoneri suffered a 1-0 defeat to newly promoted Sampdoria at the San Siro. Giampiero Pazzini, exchanged for Antonio Cassano just before the season started, gave hope to Milan last week when he scored a hat-trick over Bologna to give his side a 3-1 win.

Max Allegri must be thrilled that his side is paired with Atalanta this week, because despite the win the manager still seems unsure how best to proceed. Riccardo Montolivo is hurt? Well, we can replace him with Nigel De Jong -- they're both midfielders, so it's the same, right? Ok, so I don't know Allegri's entire thought process, but considering he's got an injury list longer than his list of available players, and a dogged conviction to the 4-3-1-2, he doesn't have much to work with. At least he can be fairly certain that De Jong will be causing injury rather than sustaining it.

As for Atalanta, they're still seeking to erase their -2 deduction from the start of the season. La Dea nearly escaped Cagliari with all three points -- despite going down to ten men with over an hour left to play -- but the home side managed an extra-time equaliser and Atalanta were left with -1 point. They also saw Andrea Consigli stretchered off in that match, but he's fit for this week, fortunately as he performed some amazing acrobatics to deny Cagliari. Now if German Denis and Maxi Moralez could just revive their steamy romance of last season (they're just not reading each others' thoughts like they used to), we could see a fun match at the San Siro.

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