Not only do the Nerazzurri face up against Atalanta in one of the Interisti’s least palatable away trips, but they do so on the dreaded lunchtime slot. Kick-off on Sunday at 12:30 CET.
While this match is difficult to look at with any modicum of optimism for most Inter fans, it is important to note that Atlanta will not be looking forward to hosting one of the league’s most in-form sides either. Atalanta have had a well-documented disappointing start to the season, but have recently managed to string toghether a three win streak, pointing to a possible return to form for the Bergamaschi. That being said, it’s worth noting that said three victories have come against the motley trio of Chievo (who remain at minus one point) as well as Parma and Bologna.
Atalanta’s strength lies in their attack; their forward line features a collection of proven Serie A scorers and attackers such as the eternal pain-in-Inter’s-backside Papu Gomez as well as Duvan Zapata and Josep Ilicic. Now these are names that may cause concern to almost any Serie A side, however, one must remember that the Inter defense in the previous encounter managed to nullify Luis Suarez, Felipe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele.
Herein lies the biggest takeaway in this match analysis, the single largest potential obstacle in Inter’s way to take all three points is their very own state of mind. Ever since managing to put the early season malaise behind them, Inter have demonstrated that they are up to almost any challenge thrown at them. This match is one more such occasion to prove themselves. On paper, Inter are a far superior side and are in a better run of form than the hosts. As long as Inter bring to the match the same levels of belief, confidence and quality as they have done in the previous seven league matches, expect a win for the Nerazzurri, the good Nerazzurri.
While Luciano Spaletti technically has no injured players to factor in his team selection, it is clear that Radja Nainggolan is far from fully fit and will be relegated to the bench in order to get some much needed rest. It is possible that this is the match where Ivan Perisic will also be given a breather after his industrious performance against Barca. Joao Mario will probably be given a chance to continue raising eyebrows, which will mean that the side may line up as a 4-3-3 rather than the more frequently used 4-2-3-1.
Probable Inter line-up: (4-3-3) Handanovic; Dalbert, DiVrij, Skriniar, Vrsalijko; Brozovic, Joao Mario, Vecino; Politano, Keita, Icardi (C).
Last Season: Atalanta 0-0 Inter.
Last 10 Head to Head: While Inter confidently outperform their weekend rivals with five wins to the Bergamaschi’s three, it is important to realize than in Inter’s previous nine trips away to Bergamo, they’ve only managed to win on one solitary arrangement. To find another away win for the Nerazzurri you have to dig back over ten years to the spring of 2008.
Keep an Eye on
Joao Mario: The reborn Portuguese midfielder has been the talk of almost all of the Nerazzurri faithful since his last two impressive showings in the league. If Mario puts up a similar performance to his previous two, then chances his reincarnation is the real deal rather than a false dawn.
Referee: Fabio Maresca
Assistants: Schenone, Mondin
Fourth Official: Mriani
VAR Officials: Guida, Posado
Prediction & concluding remarks
Prediction & scorers: Atalanta 0-0 Inter an ugly frustrating scoreless draw. Silver lining; another cleans sheet.
Concluding remarks: Atalanta are, like Inter, riding a wave of good momentum, expect that positivity to be enough to give the hosts at least a point out of the match that more often than not is a bleak trip for Inter.
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