Milan will take on Atalanta this Sunday and it will be a crucial game for the club, as they most likely need to win to finish in the top four. It won’t be an easy task for the Rossoneri, but missing out would be a disaster.
Stefano Pioli’s men had a golden opportunity to secure their spot in the Champions League but only got a draw against Cagliari. After a 3-0 win against Juventus and a 7-0 win against Torino, it was a very disappointing result.
Milan now need to win against Atalanta or hope that either Juventus or Napoli drop points, which isn’t likely as they will face Bologna and Hellas Verona respectively. Sky journalist Manuele Baiocchini spoke about the situation, as cited by MilanNews.
“Atalanta are one of the most in-form teams of the moment and if Milan were to miss out on the Champions League, they would have enormous damage in terms of their image, sporting and economic ambitions. Over the past 90 years, the winter champions have won the league 60% of the times. Only one has finished outside the top four: Juventus in 1936. This explains the disappointment of Milan if a top-four finish doesn’t materialise.
“Today, Milan returned to training after a day of rest and everyone is available except Ibrahimovic and Gabbia. Pioli will prepare for Sunday’s match in a similar way to how he prepared the match against Juventus,” he stated.
Taking these stats into consideration, it’s clear that finishing outside the top four would indeed be a massive failure for the Rossoneri. And a very costly one as well, given what the UCL means financially.