Date: Saturday, January 16th, 2016
Time: 9:00 am ET/ 15:00 CET
Venue: Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia; Bergamo, Italy
After the bitter disappointment against Sassuolo, Inter take the short trip to Bergamo to face the other Nerazzurri, Atalanta. Mancini will be hoping that his players can use that loss to motivate them to a victory and show the other top teams that they have the mental fortitude to keep fighting no matter what.
Like Inter, Atalanta come into this match following a loss but their 2-0 defeat at the hands of Genoa was their fourth in five matches. Though they are coming into this match in a poor run of form they are still in 11th mainly due to a solid defensive record at home that has only seen them concede 9 goals so far at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia. Atalanta coach Edy Reja will be missing Mauricio Pinilla and Carlos Carmona plus defender Gabriel Paletta will have a last minute fitness test to determine if he can play.
Mancini will come into this match only missing Melo through suspension and Dodo who was not listed in the squad for unknown reasons. Some reports are saying that Telles will get a chance back in the starting lineup and that Jovetic will once again watch the match from the bench. The Montenegrin attacker has only played about nine minutes in the last two matches, and some claim that this is evidence that Mancini does not want him and plans to ship him out already. While I seriously doubt this is true, I'm sure he is eager for a chance back in the starting lineup and it is likely to assume that if he does not start the match tomorrow, he will appear from the first whistle in the Coppa Italia match against Napoli on Tuesday.
Inter needs to win this match. After that last minute loss against Sassuolo the team now sits in third place with Fiorentina only one point behind them. A win would put Inter back on track and hopefully put some pressure on the other top teams, who have considerably harder matches this weekend than they had in the last round (Napoli vs. Sassuolo, Udinese vs. Juventus, AC Milan vs. Fiorentina). Inter have beat Atalanta in their last three meetings so we can expect for Mancini to make it four wins out of four, and hopefully some other teams will slip up as an added bonus.
Projected Starting XIs
Atalanta: Sportiello; Masiello, Toloi, Cherubin, Drame; Cigarini, De Roon, Kurtic; D’Alessandro, Denis, Gomez
Inter: Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, Miranda, Murillo, Telles; Brozovic, Medel, Kondogbia; Perisic, Icardi, Ljajic