Aiming to stay in touch with Serie A's pace-setters and also progress in Europe, Milan must tackle La Dea ahead of next week's Champions League clash against Newcastle United.
After a run of just two wins from eight matches, Milan cruised to maximum points last weekend, when a 3-1 home victory over Frosinone eased some of the pressure on under-fire coach Stefano Pioli.
Christian Pulisic was among the scorers at San Siro, moving on to five goals and two assists from his first 12 Serie A games, and following their 1-0 win against Fiorentina a week earlier, the Rossoneri seem to have steadied the ship for now.
In between the two triumphs, Pioli's men had slipped to last place in this year's Champions League 'Group of Death' with a 3-1 defeat to Borussia Dortmund, meaning they must now beat Newcastle next week - in addition to already-qualified Dortmund overcoming Paris Saint-Germain.
The seven-time European champions still hold slim hopes of reaching the last 16, but first they resume domestic duties sitting behind both city rivals Inter Milan and rejuvenated Juventus in the Serie A standings.
Before making the short trip to Bergamo on Saturday, Milan are unbeaten throughout their last seven away fixtures in the league, having drawn 2-2 on both of their two most recent road trips, against Napoli and Lecce.
Also undefeated in their last five meetings with Atalanta, winning on no fewer than four occasions, they will surely expect to emerge victorious from their latest Lombardy derby.
Under the leadership of long-serving coach Gian Piero Gasperini, Atalanta have won just one of seven home games against Milan in Serie A, with the sole outlier being a shock 5-0 success back in December 2019.
That result also represents La Dea's only clean sheet against their Rossoneri rivals in 15 league meetings on Bergamo soil, and recent events suggest the hosts may struggle to shut Milan out this weekend.
Monday's 3-0 loss to Torino - made all the more painful due to two strikes from ex-Atalanta striker Duvan Zapata - continues a worrying trend for Gasperini's side, who have conceded at a rate of two goals per game over their past four league outings.
The Bergamaschi have now lost 14 Serie A matches in 2023, which is their worst such tally in a calendar year since 2015, and successive defeats to Napoli and then Torino have seen them slump to eighth in the table - nine points adrift of Milan.
In contrast to Saturday's visitors, Atalanta have fared far better in continental competition, and they top their Europa League group ahead of next week's finale in Czestochowa, having already qualified for the knockout phase.
However, another league loss would serve a big blow to their dreams of returning to the Champions League next season - Gasperini's main goal for the 2023-24 campaign.
Milan's defensive crisis remains acute, as Malick Thiaw recently joined Pierre Kalulu, Simon Kjaer, Marco Pellegrino and Mattia Caldara on the sidelines - Kjaer is closest to returning, but is still set to miss Saturday's game.
Though Rafael Leao has resumed full training, the Rossoneri's attacking talisman is still unavailable, so Samu Chukwueze and Christian Pulisic should support Olivier Giroud up front - the latter, who is back from a two-match ban, has five goals from his first six Serie A away games this season.
Atalanta, meanwhile, have their own problems in defence, as Berat Djimsiti, Rafael Toloi and Jose Luis Palomino are all expected to miss Milan's visit this weekend. Midfielder Marten De Roon may therefore provide cover in the hosts' back three.
In contention for an advanced midfield role, Mario Pasalic has been directly involved in three goals from four league games played against his old club at the Gewiss Stadium - the Croatia international featured 24 times for Milan in 2016-17, on loan from Chelsea.
Atalanta BC possible starting lineup:
Musso; Scalvini, De Roon, Kolasinac; Hateboer, Ederson, Koopmeiners, Ruggeri; Pasalic, Lookman; De Ketelaere
AC Milan possible starting lineup:
Maignan; Calabria, Tomori, Hernandez, Florenzi; Musah, Reijnders; Chukwueze, Loftus-Cheek, Pulisic; Giroud
We say: Atalanta BC 1-1 AC Milan
Though Milan have had the edge over Atalanta in recent years, both teams are hampered by absences at the moment and may ultimately settle for a point. The hosts have been struggling to keep their back door shut, while the Rossoneri remain some way short of their best.
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