Sinisa Mihajlovic has reportedly chosen M’Baye Niang over Keisuke Honda and so there are expected to be two Frenchmen in the line-up tomorrow.
Mihajlovic had a winning team in his hand but injuries and suspensions mean that he has to change things up against Atalanta (20:45 CET kickoff on Saturday).
Giacomo Bonaventura is suspended due to the yellow card he got against Lazio and so Sinisa has to field someone else on the left wing. Keisuke Honda appeared to be a clear favourite to start in the role but Sky reports on Friday evening that it’s actually M’Baye Niang who will be featured in the starting XI alongside Carlos Bacca and Alessio Cerci.
It’ll be Niang’s first appearance with Milan since the 18th of January 2015, when he faced the very same Atalanta. He spent the second half of last season with Genoa before suffering an injury. In pre-season he showed good signs but then fractured his fifth metatarsal in the right foot and faced more time out. However, the 20-year-old is now fit and Mihajlovic is apparently betting on him.
In midfield Andrea Poli will replace the injured Andrea Bertolacci with Juraj Kucka playing on the other side and a recovered Riccardo Montolivo ahead of the defense, keeping De Jong on the bench. There aren’t supposed to be surprises in defense with Philippe Mexes playing next to Romagnoli.
Mexes, after scoring on his first touch of the season against Lazio, will get his first start this year with Cristian Zapata watching from the bench and the injured Alex looking on from the stands. With Ignazio Abate out through injury, Luca Antonelli and Mattia De Sciglio will play as fullbacks while Gianluigi Donnarumma will stay in goal as Diego Lopez has taken time to heal from a knee injury.
Probable XI: Gianluigi Donnarumma; Mattia De Sciglio, Philippe Mexes, Alessio Romagnoli, Luca Antonelli; Juraj Kucka, Riccardo Montolivo, Andrea Poli; Alessio Cerci, Carlos Bacca, M’Baye Niang.