SERIE A PREVIEW | Inter v Atalanta

Inter will hope to consolidate a 12-point lead at the top of the Serie A table when host top four-chasing Atalanta tonight at the San Siro.

Inter have maintained their perfect start to the new year till now and courtesy of chasing pack Juventus’ inconsistency in form, they have managed to stretch their lead as league leaders to put a firm grip on the Scudetto. 

Marko Arnautovic’s 79th-minute goal helped the Nerazzurri grab a first-leg win over Atletico Madrid in the Champions League Round of 16 as they will look to defend against an impending onslaught at the Wanda Metropolitano in the return leg. Simone Inzaghi’s men proved good value when they routed Lecce in their previous league outing. Lautaro Martinez scored his 24th and 25th goal of the season in that match while Davide Frattesi and Stefan de Vrij also put their names on the scoresheet. 

Inter have lost only once since the start of the new Serie A season, scoring the most goals (63) and conceding the least (12) till now in the league. The hosts edged past tonight’s visitors the last time they met in November last year when Hakan Calhanoglu and Lautaro Martinez sealed a 2-1 victory for their side. 

Meanwhile, Atalanta come into this match aiming to displace Bologna from 4th place as they have a game in hand. La Dea are unbeaten in their previous ten matches across all competitions and their winning run of 5 league games came to an end with the 1-1 draw with Milan. 

Teun Koopmeiners scored from a 42nd-minute penalty to equalise Rafael Leao’s early opener in the match against the Rossoneri. They are two points and a game clear of 6th-placed Roma in the league standings and three points tonight will steer them to fourth place. 

Gian Piero Gasperini’s side boast of having the joint-third best-attacking record in the Serie A this campaign as they have scored 48 goals and have the second-best goal difference. Atalanta have failed to win any of their last nine meetings with Inter but they go into the match in search of a crucial win and that may spark some fireworks.

Results from their last five matches across all competitions





Team News

Marcus Thuram, Juan Cuadrado, Francesco Acerbi and Stefano Sensi are sidelined for the match with injuries. Hakan Calhanoglu underwent tests yesterday and he has suffered a slight muscle strain which is set to keep him out for the game.

Emil Audero might start tonight after Yann Sommer missed out on the match against Lecce with a virus.

Simone Inzaghi will have to decide whether to start Carlos Augusto and Yann Aurel Bisseck in the defence with Stefan de Vrij or the likes of Alessandro Bastoni and Benjamin Pavard.

As for Atalanta, Ademola Lookman has returned from his ankle issue and will start the game. Gasperini is expected to field the same starting line-up from the last match but Davide Zappacosta may displace Emil Holm tonight. 

Predicted XIs

Inter (3-5-2): Audero; Bisseck, De Vrij, Bastoni; Dumfries, Frattesi, Barella, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco; Sanchez, Martinez

Atalanta (3-4-1-2): Carnesecchi; Scalvini, Djimsiti, Kolasinac; Zappacosta, De Roon, Ederson, Ruggeri; Koopmeiners; Lookman, De Ketelaere


Trambak Bhattacherjee | GIFN

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