Inter Milan are back in action on Sunday at the San Siro after a truly absurd international break that saw a handful Nerazzurri players punch their ticket to Russia, and a few others reeling from what could have been. Players returning from national team stints will need to regain their club focus quickly, as Inter find themselves trying to extend their unbeaten start to the season against a capable Atalanta team.
After shocking Italian football last season and finishing in 4th place above the likes of AC Milan, Inter, Lazio, and Fiorentina, Gian Piero Gasperini’s Atalanta haven’t quite yet matched the same intensity this campaign. Alejandro Gomez (3 goals & 4 assists) still leads the possession-minded, short-passing attack, but despite a draw against Juventus and a string of good Europa League results, Italy’s other black & blues currently sit in 10th place in Serie A with a 4-4-4 record.
(Side note: be sure to pay attention to one Atalanta player in particular)
Inter, on the other hand, can extend their unbeaten streak to 13 games with a win or a draw on Sunday. With Marcelo Brozovic back to full fitness and Mauro Icardi ready to play after his aneurysm-inducing-almost-injury (thanks for the Instagram post, Mauro), Luciano Spalletti should be able to field his full starting XI of choice. I’m most interested to see if the Inter boss will continue to play Borja Valero in the trequartista role, and in turn let Roberto Gagliardini have a go at his old club from one of the two defensive midfield positions.
Gagliardini, along with other Inter players and fans alike, will hope this game against his old team goes a lot like the last one...
After falling 1-2 at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia last October despite a cracking Eder goal, Inter trounced their black & blue counterparts 7-1 at the San Siro this past March. That anomaly of a match proved to be a shining moment from a team that didn’t provide many others.
While I don’t think it’ll be quite as cataclysmic a win, I have reason to believe Inter will handle Atalanta on Sunday night. I like the way Inter’s width should be able to stretch the three-man Atalanta back line through Ivan Perisic and Antonio Candreva, and I’m excited to see how Milan Skriniar handles a veteran attacker as smooth and as skilled as Alejandro Gomez.
Date & Time: Sunday, November 19th, 2017; 8:45 PM CEST (2:45 PM on the U.S. East Coast)
Location: Stadio Giuseppe Meazza; Milan, Italy
TV/Streaming: In the U.S., the game is available on beIN Sports, with streaming through beIN Sports Connect and fuboTV. In the U.K., the match will be shown on BT Sport 1 with streaming through BT Sport Live. Click here to find out where you can watch the match everywhere else in the world.
Inter Milan Squad
Goalkeepers: Handanovic, Padelli, Berni
Defenders: Joao Cancelo, Ranocchia, Santon, D’Ambrosio, Nagatomo, Skriniar, Miranda, Dalbert
Midfielders: Gagliardini, Joao Mario, Borja Valero, Vecino, Brozovic
Forwards: Candreva, Karamoh, Icardi, Perisic, Eder, Pinamonti
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