Gennaro Gattuso insists Atalanta’s recent run of poor form will count for nothing when they visit San Siro on Sunday.
AC Milan and Atalanta meet in Serie A with both clubs languishing in the bottom half of the table, each on four points apiece, although the Rossoneri have played a game less.
The visitors have lost two on the spin in league action after tumbling out in the qualifying rounds of the Europa League, losing to Copenhagen on penalties.
Yet Gattuso – who saw his side squeeze to a 1-0 win over Dudelange in Europe on Thursday – expects another tricky outing against Gian Piero Gasperini’s struggling side.
“I do not trust Atalanta, I do not trust Gian Piero Gasperini,” he told the media.
“When he goes to choose the players, it seems they do it with a stencil. They look for those with the same characteristics, and their new players seem to have been playing there for a long time.
“Atalanta are a solid team and can be difficult to play against. They want to bounce back after the two defeats in their last two outings. We need to play a really good game.”
Gonzalo Higuain scored the only goal in the Europa League Group F game in Luxembourg, albeit his winner was aided by a deflection.
Gattuso called for the striker to become less predictable after the game and, prior to the Atalanta fixture, he suggested Higuain should focus on playing further forward, rather than dropping back to receive possession.
“Higuain plays deep, helping us move the ball, but I want him to run behind defence more, putting more pressure on the defenders in the final third,” he said.
“I consider him the best striker in the world, he scores goals, he helps the team, he’s a top player.
“We need to take advantage of his qualities, we need to play with our heads up and give the ball to him. I hope he can play in every game.
“Higuain and Suso need to get to know each other better on the pitch, we are working on it.”