Tonight at 8.45 pm CET Inter welcome fellow Nerazzuri rivals Atalanta at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, in what is possibly one of the biggest challenges for Inter this season.
Stats wise there is very little to choose between the two sides. Inter’s last 5 games finished with 3 wins and 2 draws, meanwhile Atalanta have 4 wins and 1 loss.
Previous meetings between the two sides for the last 18 fixtures have seen Inter win 6, Atalanta win 5 and the remaining 7 finished as stalemate.
Inter are still joint top of the Serie A table with Juve, on 45 points. Atalanta are currently 5th in the Serie A on 34 points.
Inter have scored 39 goals, which makes them the 3rd best team in the league, averaging 2.17 per game and an average xG of 1.9, 4th best.
Lukaku remains Inter’s top scorer on 14 goals, averaging a goal every 109 minutes. Inter are 3rd in the table for the most touches in opposition box with 418, and 4th most shots with 283 total, averaging 15 per match.
These are decent stats for Inter, especially when you consider that Sensi has spent a lot of time off the pitch due to injury, who is the main link between the midfield and attack.
Atalanta meanwhile are very impressive when going forward, and possibly play the most exciting brand of football in the Serie A. Atalanta have scored the most goals in this Serie A campaign, with 48 goals, average 2.67 per game and 2.4 xG average per game.
Their top scorer so far is Luis Muriel on 10 goals, averaging 83 minutes per goal, but a special mention to Josip Ilicic who is right behind Muriel on 9 goals and an average of a goal every 102 minutes. Unsurprisingly, Atalanta have the most touches in the opposition box with 477 and the most shots on target with 348, 18 per game. Gasperini has done wonders with this squad and are very exciting going forward.
Inter remain the best club defensively in the Serie A, conceding 15 goals total, averaging 0.83 per game, and have the lowest xG against them averaging 0.95 per match. Conte has really built up a strong team defensively and the team are very well organised and difficult to break down. The ultimate test comes tonight and if Inter manage to keep a clean sheet, then that will be impressive.
Atalanta are probably what anyone would expect defensively, considering how much emphasis their style of play focuses on attacking. They have conceded 25 goals so far, the 8th best in the league, averaging 1.39 per game, and have the 3rd best xG against with 1.09 per game.
These numbers may look a bit average, but it is worth pointing out that Atalanta sold Gianluca Mancini, their best center back last summer, and have struggled to find a replacement. If they can fill that gap with a decent player, (likely to be Caldara), then expect Atalanta to possibly improve their defensive numbers by the end of the year.
Inter has a lot of players who can make an impact on the result of this match, but tonight Lautaro Martinez will need to produce a top performance in order to help his team. Recently Lautaro has been showing fantastic improvement in his game, his link up play with Lukaku is growing every match and his confidence is sky high. So far he has scored 9 league goals, and one assist.
Where to start with Alejandro Papu Gomez? The Atalanta captain is in fantastic form and has scored 2 goals in his last 3 games. Gomez tends to drive his team forward and is involved in all of the attacking play.
He has scored 6 league goals this year and has an impressive 7 assists. Alejandro Gomez loves big matches like this and you can be sure the Inter defence will have their work cut out for them tonight.
This result could go any way. Inter have the best defence in the league, and Atalanta have the best attack. Don’t be surprised if this ends in a draw.
Atalanta are of course familiar with the Giuseppe Meazza pitch having played there in their Champions League matches, and this could give them the edge, although Inter will no doubt have a fantastic support and they will be pushing their squad to get the right result.