Preview: Inter vs Atalanta – On a quest to replicate last season’s performance
After a disappointing draw against Torino at home the last match day Inter look to get back to winning ways against black and blue cousins Atalanta. Kick-off on Sunday at 20:45CET.
A return from international break is always tricky to manage, and despite none of Inter’s international players have picked up any knocks while on national duty, managing morale, fatigue and condition will be a real issue for Luciano Spaletti.
Atalanta will present a very stubborn opponent for the Nerazzurri. The team from Bergamo will not take the trip to San Siro to roll over and give up the three points, and their embittered ex-Inter manager Giampiero Gasperini relishes every oppurtunity to stick it to his ex-employers. Despite Atalanta under-performing in the Serie A this season, they largely still possess the same core group of players who performed so well last season, and their performances in the Europa League have been nothing short of spectacular so far.
Expect Spaletti to start the same formation as he had in the last five or so matches, the only change might be replacing Dalbert for Yuto Nagatomo, seeing that the Japanese full-back is coming off a pair of bad games, while the Brazilian has remained at Appiano Gentile to train throigh the international break.
The biggest bit of news out of the Inter camp is the recovery of Mauro Icardi from his knee troubles. Likewise, almost all other news seems to be positive as well, with Ivan Perisic and Marcelo Brozovic both playing important roles in securing Croatia’s World Cup qualification in playoffs and Joao Mario having scored a goal for Portugal albeit against Saudi Arabia in a friendly. The biggest concern will be managing the morale of Italy internationals Antonio Candreva, Danilo D’Ambrosio, Eder and Roberto Gagliardini who all were part of Italy’s scandalous failure to qualify for the Mondiale.
Probable Inter line-up (subject to change): (4-2-3-1) Handanovic; Dalbert, Miranda, Skriniar, D’Ambrosio; Gagliardini, Vecino; Perisic, Valero, Candreva; Icardi (C)
Last Season: Inter 7 – 1 Atalanta
Last 10 Head to Head: In the last ten games both sides can’t be separated with four wins to each side. Having said that, Inter outperform the visitors 3-1 in the last five matches.
Keep an Eye on
Mauro Icardi: Having recovered from the slight injury that made him look a shadow of his normal self against Torino, Maurito will be looking to getting back to scoring ways against team he usually finds the net against.
Refereree: Michael Fabbri
Assistants: Alassio, De Meo
Fourth Official: Maresca
Additional Assistants: Orsato, Schenone
Prediction & Authors Note
Prediction & scorers: Inter 2 – 1 Atalanta with an Icardi brace for Inter.
Author’s Note: If This match will be no walk in the park. Expect a Torino-esque defensive display with a more organized and threatening ability on the counter-attack. While last year’ mauling might not feature prominently in the Atalanta players’ minds, it might certainly feature as extra motivation.