Inter’s big games are coming in bunches. The Nerazzurri’s 1-0 win over Roma is set to be followed by journeys to Atalanta, Juventus, and Napoli in three of its next four Serie A games. The first of those, set to come after a rare week in between games, is a visit to Gian Piero Gasperini’s side on Saturday evening.
Atalanta rebounded from a midtable finish in 2021/22 to finish 5th in 2022/23, and despite major turnover in the transfer market, said turnaround seems to be alive and well ten matchdays into the current campaign. The summer saw departures of Rasmus Holjmund, Ruslan Malinovsky, Jeremie Boga and Merih Demiral for big fees, but the arrivals of Gianluca Scamacca (4 goals, 1 assist) and Charles De Ketelaere (2g, 2a) have filled the gaps left behind in the final third, while midfielders Teun Koopmeiners (3g, 2a) and Ederson (4g, 1a) are quite the handful on both sides of the ball.
Star showings from those and generally reliable performances from Atalanta’s entire XI have La Dea in 4th on 19 points with six wins, two draws, and only one loss in its last nine outings in all competitions. A rock-solid defense has been Atalanta’s backbone so far with only 8 goals conceded (3rd fewest in Serie A), with the free-flowing football from a couple of seasons ago clearly gone from good. Atalanta has still put up solid offensive numbers, with the 4th most goals scored, but its far more methodical about finding the back of the net now. Much like Inter, a lot of Atalanta’s attacking output comes from the flanks in a 3-4-1-2 formation, where wingbacks Matteo Ruggeri and Davide Zapacosta have combined for 7 goal contributions. That’s a figure rivaled only by Inter, so the wings will be a particularly crucial part of the pitch come Saturday.
Speaking of the Nerazzurri, Simone Inzaghi’s men have a narrow lead on Juventus (2 points) and Milan (3 points) in first, but the upcoming schedule (Atalanta, Juventus, and Napoli in the coming weeks) will be quite the test of Inter’s mettle. It’s a test Scudetto contenders should be able to pass - not exactly comfortably of course, but still pass. Atalanta won’t roll over the way the Roma did last week, but the win over the Giallorossi has provide a strong momentum boost for the Nerazzurri.
Inter leads the all-time series against La Dea with a 75W-36D-27L record, including back-to-back 3-2 wins last season, and hasn’t lost since 2018.
Predicted Starting XIs
Prediction: Atalanta 1-2 Inter Milan
Scamacca will grab a goal against the team that was so close to signing him last summer, but Inter will still come out with all three points thanks to goals from Lautaro Martinez and Denzel Dumfries.