Atalanta host league leading and defending champions Inter in Serie A on Sunday evening.
The pair are both in the top four and represent two of the three sides in Serie A that average more than two goals a game. Between them, Atalanta and Inter have suffered just one league defeat since mid-October, collecting division-leading tallies of 27 and 32 points respectively from an available 36 in this period.
Here’s everything you need to know about the enticing meeting between a pair of free-scoring, in-form clubs.
When is kick off? Sunday 16 January, 19:45 (GMT)
Where is the match being played? Gewiss Stadium
TV channel/live stream? BT Sport (UK), Paramount+ (US), TLN (Canada)
Highlights? BT Sports Football/Serie A YouTube
Referee? Davide Massa
VAR? Aleandro Di Paolo
While Remo Freuler returns from his one-game suspension, Gian Piero Gasperini was thoroughly pessimistic about the availability (or lack thereof) of two crucial members of his side; Duvan Zapata and Robin Gosens.
Zapata is the likelier of the duo to overcome a groin injury but Gosens is all but guaranteed to sit out on Sunday night with a hamstring issue.
Inter have managed to weave through the campaign with a squad almost entirely unblemished by injury or illness. Hakan Calhanoglu served his suspension period last weekend and only second-string (at best) players Alex Cordaz and Martin Satriano are COVID-absentees.
Whether Simone Inzaghi willingly rotates his side after two draining hours in midweek against Juventus remains to be seen.
You can read Inter’s predicted lineup here.
Home and away, Inter have the upper hand historically over their Lombardy rivals, with 65 victories from 123 Serie A meetings against Atalanta (D33 L25). The Scudetto holders have fared better in recent years as well.
Alongside a six-game unbeaten sequence against the Bergamo side, Inter are Gasperini’s bogey team during his unprecedented reign with Atalanta. Sunday’s hosts have won just two of their 11 league meetings with their fellow Nerazzurri under Gasp, the lowest win rate (18%) they have registered against any club during his memorable tenure.
Both sides create chances by the bucketload but Inter can lean upon the second-best rearguard in Italy, with ten fewer goals conceded than the division’s perennial entertainers Atalanta.
However, there were some flickers of vulnerability in this backline during Inter’s last Serie A outing against a Lazio side that don’t boast the same firepower as Atalanta. In what may well prove to be a largely even contest, Inter are the more likely victors – but only narrowly.
Prediction: Atalanta 1-2 Inter