History beckons for Atalanta and Inter this Saturday as they lock horns in a mouth-watering Serie A fixture at the Gewiss Stadium. Let’s look at our match preview for this contest.
For only the second time in Serie A history, three times have tallied seven clean sheets after the opening ten rounds. Atalanta and Inter are two of them, as two of the most formidable defensive teams at Italy’s top table square off in a top-six six-pointer. Another shutout would give La Dea a decisive nudge to achieving a historic feat this weekend.
Gian Piero Gasperini’s men have racked up six victories in ten Serie A games this season and could make out seven out of 11 for just the third time in their top-flight history. Confidence should be at an all-time high in the Atalanta camp following an emphatic 3-0 victory at Empoli on Monday, inspired by Gianluca Scamacca’s brace.
But Gasperini knows that taking down his former employers is perhaps the most daunting task in Italian football, especially given the visitors’ recent form. Since returning from the international break, Inter have hit a purple patch, winning all three matches across all competitions, including a hard-fought 1-0 home triumph over fierce rivals Roma last weekend.
Marcus Thuram bagged a late winner to catapult Simone Inzaghi’s high-flying side back to the top of the table. It’s no time to get complacent, though, with Inter boasting a fragile two-point lead on runners-up Juventus. Only three points separate them from third-placed Milan at the start of this round, emphasizing the importance of winning in Bergamo.
To say the Gewiss Stadium has been a fortress this season would be an understatement. Except for a scoreless draw against Juventus in early October, Atalanta have won their remaining four competitive home games in 2023/24 by 2+ goals ‘to nil.’ Gasperini’s lads should still approach this meeting with cautious optimism.
Two of Atalanta’s three home league wins this season have come against newly-promoted sides. Inter’s upcoming visit, on the other hand, ought to give La Dea a sizeable headache. Winless in four consecutive home league H2Hs since a 4-1 victory in November 2018, Atalanta failed to get on the scoresheet twice in that sequence.
Player to Watch: Ademola Lookman
Scamacca is the man of the moment, but Lookman is our pick. The Nigerian forward broke the deadlock in this match-up last season and has done the same in Atalanta’s two most recent home league wins.
Despite drawing a blank in the first half, Inter thumped Torino 3-0 on their last Serie A travel, maintaining their flawless league record on the road this season (W4). Not just that, but Inzaghi’s men returned an emphatic 10-0 aggregate scoreline from those four successes, highlighting the potential for a history-defining moment this weekend.
Unbeaten in their last nine Serie A encounters against Atalanta (W4, D5), Inter could make it ten on the trot against La Dea for the first time since the 1950s. Nerazzurri should travel with sky-high confidence, seeking a fifth consecutive away win without conceding at the start of a new top-flight campaign for the first time since 1966/67.
Player to Watch: Marcus Thuram
Lautaro Martinez might be topping the scoring charts in Serie A. But Thuram’s superb tally of four goals and five assists in his first nine league appearances for Inter make him an ideal candidate for this section.
In addition to long-term absentee El Bilal Toure, Atalanta cannot call upon experienced defender Jose Luis Palomino. Giorgio Scalvini and Davide Zappacosta are both dealing with minor health issues but should still make the matchday squad.
As for Inter, Marko Arnautovic and Juan Cuadrado remain the only notable absentees in the traveling camp. Inzaghi will make any changes to the lineup that faced Roma last weekend, though there’s a chance Francesco Acerbi could be given some rest.
Atalanta vs Inter Potential Lineups
Atalanta (3-4-1-2): Juan Musso; Giorgio Scalvini, Berat Djimsiti, Sead Kolasinac; Hans Hateboer, Marten de Roon, Ederson, Matteo Ruggeri; Teun Koopmeiners; Ademola Lookman, Gianluca Scamacca.
Inter (3-5-2): Yann Sommer; Benjamin Pavard, Stefan de Vrij, Alessandro Bastoni; Denzel Dumfries, Nicolo Barella, Hakan Calhanoglu, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Federico Dimarco; Lautaro Martinez, Marcus Thuram.
Atalanta vs Inter Prediction
While this is the duel between the two outstanding defensive teams, let’s not forget both managers boast plenty of firepower at their disposal. We wouldn’t put it past Atalanta and Inter to throw a spectacle, though we believe the visitors will be happier at the final whistle.
Prediction: Inter Win
|Follow us on Google News for more updates on Serie A and Italian football