Atalanta take on Inter on Saturday evening in a huge clash to decide who takes second place for the 2019/20 Serie A season.
The third-highest scoring team in Europe, La Dea have been unbeaten since the league’s restart and will be determined to finish off the domestic season strongly ahead of their upcoming Champions League quarter final against Paris Saint-Germain.
As for Antonio Conte’s side, they’ve only lost once after returning to action. The Milan side have recently produced their best football of their campaign and just need to avoid defeat to ensure a first top-two finish for nine years, given that they currently sit a point ahead of their opponents.
When Is Kick Off? Saturday 1 August
What Time Is Kick Off? 19:45 (BST)
Where Is it Played? Gewiss Stadium
TV Channel/Live Stream? Premier Sports 2
The hosts will be without star player Josip Ili?i?, who is sidelined with physical discomfort. They’ll also not have the services of centre back José Luis Palomino, who misses out with a muscle injury. Gian Piero Gasperini otherwise has a full squad to choose from, with Albanian defender Berat Djimsiti set to return to the starting lineup.
As for the Nerazzurri, midfielder Matías Vecino is absent, while Stefano Sensi is a doubt having just returned to training after recovering from a muscle problem. Conte has a big dilemma up front, with Lautaro Martínez making a strong case to be picked alongside one of Romelu Lukaku or Alexis Sánchez.
Atalanta: Gollini; Djimsiti, Caldara, Šutalo; Castagne, De Roon, Freuler, Gosens; Pašali?; Zapata, Gómez.
Inter: Handanovi?; Škriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni; Candreva, Barella, Brozovi?, Biraghi; Eriksen; Martínez, Sánchez.
Atalanta have not lost a single game since Serie A’s restart, making them one of the most in-form teams on the continent. They were made to work for their recent 2-1 win at Parma, with captain Papu Gómez scoring late on to keep them in contention for a runners-up finish.
Their visitors this weekend picked up a very good 2-0 win at home to Napoli and have kept three consecutive clean sheets in their last three matches. All three of their star forwards in Lukaku, Martínez and Sánchez have scored in their last two games, setting them up nicely for Saturday’s clash.
Here’s how both sides have fared in their last five fixtures.
Parma 1-2 Atalanta (28/7)
Milan 1-1 Atalanta (24/7)
Atalanta 1-0 Bologna (21/7)
Verona 1-1 Atalanta (18/7)
Atalanta 6-2 Brescia (14/7)
Inter 2-0 Napoli (28/7)
Genoa 0-3 Inter (25/7)
Inter 0-0 Fiorentina (22/7)
Roma 2-2 Inter (19/7)
SPAL 0-4 Inter (16/7)
This is an incredibly hard game to call, given the excellent form of both sides and their star players.
Atalanta’s attack have made them a joy to watch, and given they’re on the verge of scoring a century of goals within a single Serie A season, they appear unstoppable at the moment.
But if any team is going to keep them out, Conte’s Inter has a strong chance. The Nerazzurri boast the best defence in the league having conceded just 36 goals, and will be determined to perform well against their potent opponents. With their forwards also in great form, they’ll likely score themselves.
It promises to be an exciting, high-scoring draw for both sides to round off their domestic campaigns with, before they look to topple Juventus next season.
Prediction: Atalanta 2-2 Inter