The final match of 2022 is here and... *checks notes* it’s only November 12th. That’s the bad news (although a month and a half without Inter might not be an awful idea at the rate things have been going). The good news is we have a World Cup to look forward to in barely a week’s time. The biggest sporting event on the planet promises to be quite the ride no matter what, but it’ll be a bit more enjoyable from an Interisti perspective if the Nerazzurri close out 2022 on the right note and in the top four. To do so, however, the good guys will have to take all three points from a trip to Bergamo for the first time since 2020.
Atalanta isn’t quite the same Gian Piero Gasperini side of past seasons. What used to be the highest-powered attack of Serie A has transformed into a more defensively solid side that is well adapted to grinding out results. La Dea’s failure to qualify for Europe whatsoever last season (finishing 8th) and the departures of creative outlets Papu Gomez and Josip Ilicic have played the biggest part in Gasperini’s tactical change, but so far the results have proved him right. Atalanta sits 6th at the moment but was as high as second two weeks ago before a pair of 2-1 defeats to Napoli and Lecce. La Dea has the 7th best attack in Serie A (20 scored) and the 4th best defense (12 conceded) and 9 of its 14 games have been decided by one goal or less.
Despite Atalanta’s shift away from goals, the likes of Ademola Lookman (who leads its charts with 6 tallies) and midfielder Teun Koopmeiners (4g, 1a) are quite the handful for any opposing defense. But unfortunately for Atalanta, that’s where the attack starts and stops. No other player has more than one goal, including Duvan Zapata and Luis Muriel (limited to just 5 and 6 starts each through injury) and summer arrival Rasmus Hojlund, a highly touted Danish teenager that might take some time to adapt to Italy.
Inter’s 6-1 thrashing of Bologna relieved some of the stress provided by a Derby d’Italia defeat but further struggles against a top-eight team in Serie A would only bring the alarm bells back, and even louder this time. Inter has managed to lose to Lazio (2nd), Milan (3rd), Juve (4th), Roma (7th), and Udinese (8th) this season (that Napoli game on January 4th should be a fun start to 2023...). Any sort of title push is out of the question (the Partenopei are 11 points ahead) but the race for the top four remains a mess. Just four points separate second from seventh and though Inter’s winning streak did well to bring it back into contention, a run of poor results (such as two losses to fellow big teams within one week) would wipe that all away and bring Simone Inzaghi’s job to a boiling point.
Inter has a 72W-36D-27L all-time record against La Dea, including two draws last season.
- 0-0 (A), 16/1/22
- 2-2 (H), 25/9/21
Predicted Starting XIs
Prediction: Atalanta 1-1 Inter Milan
2022 will end with the points split at the Gewiss Stadium after a Zapata opener is canceled out by a Lautaro strike.