Week 5: Milan – Atalanta

Follow the match as it happens, on the forum.

Week four away at Cagliari was an underwhelming match, Milan started very poorly and the team was punished as early as the 4th minute. The team gradually improved but a second half Higuain goal was to be a consolation only. Dropping points like this will soon add up and a top 4 and Champions League place can fade quickly.

Atalanta provide the second home opposition of the season and the Bergamo club have had an indifferent start to the season as well.

The line ups used this season, except for the Europa League opener midweek, have been too close to last season’s and this seems to be norm for now. Higuain and either one of Caldara or Musacchio remain the only changes from the regular 2017-2018 team. Big changes didn’t provide a big spark vs Dudelange and it was left to a partially deflected Higuain goal to get the three points. These two matches were further evidence that Gattuso still has a lot of work to do to create a new team or gel the players into a top Serie A or Europa League team.

Cutrone will still miss this game and the short term knock is taking a few more days than expected. Mauri and Bertolacci underwhelmed versus the Luxembourg team and do not look like players capable of adding quality depth for the midfield. The team will require the best from the starters. Kessie, Biglia, Bonaventura and perhaps even more so Bakayoko need to have great seasons. Suso and Calhanoglu need to be pushed by Halilovic and Castillejo and perform as well and better than last season.

Caldara is set to miss week five with what is described as a muscular issue so the defense pairing with Musacchio and Romagnoli is again predictable.