Still fresh off of their dramatic extra time Supercoppa Italiana win over Juventus on Wednesday, Inter will be back in action against a tough opponent in Atalanata. The two sides played out a chaotic 2-2 draw back in September, but much has changed since then for Simone Inzaghi’s team, as they have settled into a system and now seen a trophy lifted. That being said, taking on a solid Atalanta side at their home is never an easy task.
Like Inter, Gian Piero Gasperini’s side also took the pitch in the midweek, where they easily dispatched Venezia in the Coppa Italia. Their 2-0 victory included goals from Luis Muriel and Joakim Maehle. The past few matches have not been too kind to Atalanta though, with a 4-1 loss to Roma and a scoreless draw with Genoa just before the Christmas break. Like Inter, their first match after the break was cancelled, making for a fixture list that has not lent itself to consistency recently.
La Dea will be without some important players for the match, with Duvan Zapata and Robin Gosens likely not fit to play on Sunday on top of the absences of Davide Zappacosta and Rafael Toloi. Atalanta’s squad is deep enough to cover the absences of Zapata and Gosens, with Muriel and Maehle, who scored on Wednesday, slotting in.
Hopefully the hangover from the Supercoppa celebrations does not last long for Inter. The match against Juventus was extremely hard fought for the maximum amount of time allotted before Alexis Sanchez scored the winner. Such a win can also give the squad a morale boost in the short and long term by having the project in front of them validated in such a way. If Inter want to hammer home their image as top dogs in Italy, wins over Juventus and Atalanta in a span of a few days would do just that.
Inter will have all hands on deck for the match, but will have questions to be answered up front and on the right, with Sanchez’s recent form and the return of the more defensively sound Matteo Darmian. One or both could make a case for the start on Sunday.
1-0 (H) - 8/3/2021
2-2 (H) - 25/9/2021
Predicted Starting XIs
Prediction: Atalanta 1-2 Inter
It will be a tough task for Inter to take down Atalanta at home, but when taking into consideration the recent form of both clubs and the absences for the hosts, Inter should have the upper hand. Muriel is always a threat against Inter and could very well get a goal, but an Inter side brimming with confidence should be able to overcome the test.