How often do you see a coach make nine changes to the starting line-up between the two league matches?
Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini thought that was what his team needed to bounce back from a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of leaders Napoli.
Unfortunately for La Dea, nothing went according to plan on Wednesday as they suffered a dismal 2-1 loss away to promoted Lecce, accounting for their third across four rounds (W1).
Demoted to sixth in the Serie A standings after going toe-to-toe with Napoli for over two months, Atalanta could slip to as low as eighth before the World Cup break should they fail to pick themselves up.
Level on points with their hosts after a scintillating 6-1 home triumph over Bologna in midweek, Inter may face the same fate unless Simone Inzaghi figures out how to make his team competitive in a high-stakes fixture.
A disheartening 2-0 defeat at Juventus on their most recent league travel was the last in a long line of the Nerazzurri’s underwhelming showings against fellow European hopefuls.
They have lost all five Serie A encounters against sides starting this round in the top eight, which has brought Inzaghi under heavy scrutiny despite helping Inter reach the Champions League knock-outs.
With last season’s runners-up no longer relevant in the Scudetto race, they can hope to break back into the top four at best after surrendering the final Champions League qualification spot to Juventus.
After finding themselves on the receiving end of a 4-1 aggregate scoreline in their last two Serie A matches at the Gewiss Stadium (L2), Atalanta could lose three consecutive top-flight home games for the first time since 1997.
But since they’ve only lost once in their last seven home league meetings with Inter (W2, D4), La Dea may feel optimistic about the prospect of returning to winning ways this weekend.
Those superstitious among Atalanta faithful will hope Merih Demiral’s talismanic record against Inter can inspire the hosts’ effort to get their stuttering domestic season back on track.
Interestingly, the former Juventus defender has played five games against Inter without ever losing one (W2, D3), a personal record he’d like to protect this weekend.
Nothing would please Inzaghi more than beating Atalanta in these uncertain times, especially as Sunday’s affair will mark his 250th Serie A match as a manager.
Yet after being held goalless in Turin last weekend, Inter could draw a blank in consecutive away league outings for the first time since April 2018.
That’s not out of the realm of reality, considering they could only manage a goalless draw in this corresponding fixture last season.
If there’s someone able to stop that from happening, it’s Edin Dzeko, who has tallied seven goals against Atalanta in Serie A.
Atalanta vs Inter Milan Potential Line-ups
Atalanta (3-4-1-2): Juan Musso; Merih Demiral, Rafael Toloi, Giorgio Scalvini; Hans Hateboer, Teun Koopmeiners, Mario Pasalic, Brandon Soppy; Ederson; Ademola Lookman, Duvan Zapata.
Inter Milan (3-5-2): Andre Onana; Stefan de Vrij, Alessandro Bastoni, Milan Skriniar; Denzel Dumfries, Hakan Calhanoglu, Nicolo Barella, Roberto Gagliardini, Federico Dimarco; Edin Dzeko, Lautaro Martinez.
How to Watch?
Atalanta vs Inter Milan, alongside all other Serie A fixtures, is available to watch online via Serie A live streams.
Atalanta vs Inter Milan Prediction
We expect an evenly-contested fixture in Bergamo, with both teams unlikely to give anything away from the start, especially given the importance of the result.
So a share of the spoils accompanied by a goal on each side looks realistic.
Atalanta 1-1 Inter Milan
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