December 22, 2017

AC Milan v Atalanta Asian Handicap Preview – Saturday 23rd December

AC Milan v Atalanta – San Siro at 17:00 Live at BT Sport

Spoken about as potential title winners in the summer following a lavish spending spree, AC Milan is in a dire state as they head into Saturday evening’s encounter with Atalanta at the San Siro.

Last weekend the Rossoneri travelled to Hellas Verona. Verona sat just one spot off rock-bottom with only two wins to their name before losing both of their starting forwards – Alessio Cerci and Mattia Valoti – to injury inside the first 32 minutes.

Hellas grabbed the opening goal between those two injury setbacks and never looked back, going on to win 3-0 despite Milan enjoying almost 68% of possession and taking 30 shots to their hosts’ six. Nevertheless, Milan never looked like they really believed they would find a way back.

The Rossoneri have now fallen behind in seven Serie A matches this season, and lost on every occasion. Post-match Rino Gattuso spoke about mental fragility and a lack of conviction, areas he intends to work on with his players. It’s an alarming episode that coincides with worrying off-field news.

Off-field concerns

On Friday, UEFA formally rejected Milan’s application for a voluntary agreement to meet their Financial Fair Play obligations. A framework exists for the governing body to show leniency towards clubs that have undergone recent takeovers if they can demonstrate that a plan is in place to balance the books going forward.

Yet UEFA expressed concern regarding Milan’s ability to repay a €303m loan by October of next year, and owner Li Yonghong was unable to provide the requested financial guarantees. They will now work towards a settlement agreement, but this may entail fines and restrictions on the number of players the club can register for official competitions.

The betting angle

Returning to the San Siro on Saturday, Milan will aim to claim only a second success in six on home soil against an impressive Atalanta outfit. The hosts have failed to score in four of their last five here and have also been beaten in six of seven winless meetings with top-half sides this season.

Atalanta might not be hitting the dizzy heights of last season but the Bergamo-based club is now unbeaten in four following a thrilling 3-3 draw with Lazio. Gian Piero Gasperini has also overseen a stalemate with Torino and routine victories over struggling Genoa and Benevento.

The visitors provide plenty of attacking punch – failing to score just once this season on their travels, at Inter – and although their W1-D3-L4 away record appears unremarkable, three of those four losses came at sides above them in the Serie A standings.

Indeed, Atalanta has lost only three league games since August and look excellent 1.800 shots with a 0.25 start on the Asian Handicap line.

Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Atalanta 0.25 at 1.800

By @MarkOHaire

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We have another Serie A match on preview, Juventus v AS Roma. Check out the Asian handicap preview and get our writer’s best betting pick.

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