January 27, 2013
Atalanta v AC Milan: Preview
Team Stat Comparison
|Goals for *||3.1||2.0|
|Goals against *||0.7||1.8|
|Last 5 home||D-L-D-L-D||D-W-W-D-W|
|Last 5 away||L-L-D-W-L||W-W-L-D-W|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Atalanta | AC Milan|
Igor Budan is ready to repay the Atalanta fans who helped him through a family tragedy, starting with a positive contribution against AC Milan tomorrow.
The Croatian striker has joined the Nerazzurri on loan from Palermo for the rest of the season, seven years after he left Bergamo for Sicily.
Budan considered retiring from the game when his two-year-old daughter Amber passed away in July, but the warm reception at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia in September, coupled with support from Palermo, convinced him to change his mind.
He told La Repubblica: "I was sorry to leave Palermo and I thought I might have finished the season in Sicily, but there's a great atmosphere here.
"I remember when I came here with Palermo in the reverse fixture. They showed me great sympathy for the tragedy that had struck me. I want to repay them on the pitch.
"I'm extremely happy to be here and I want to score important goals to keep us up.
"I'm a little bit older than I was last time but I'm in good shape and I feel ready to make a big contribution. I feel ready to play, at least for a few minutes, but the coach will decide.''
Atalanta are without a win in five attempts, with Gian Bellini, Guido Marilungo, Ezequiel Schelotto and Stefano Lucchini missing through injury as Stefano Colantuono looks to complete an unlikely double over Milan.
Luca Cigarini's goal decided a 1-0 victory at the San Siro but the Rossoneri have made significant progress since then and could move up to fifth in the Serie A standings should they triumph in Bergamo and Fiorentina lose at Catania.
Milan may have completed the signing of World Cup-winning defender Cristian Zaccardo from Parma, but president Silvio Berlusconi feels the club have been priced out of bids for Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli and Kaka of Real Madrid.
When asked who else would be arriving in January, he told the Corriere dello Sport: "Kaka or Balotelli? Neither of the two.
"It's not possible in this day and age to play Monopoly. (Vice-president Adriano) Galliani remains optimistic but the tough language of accounting keeps him from doing his work.''
Dutch midfielder Nigel de Jong's season is over, with Mario Yepes, Massimo Ambrosini and Didac Vila also sidelined through injury for the immediate future.