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3 bold predictions for Inter Milan vs. Atalanta

Inter Milan, Edin Dzeko, Luis Muriel, Atalanta

The Serie A season is in full force, with many surprising results and some teams already having strong title aspirations. Two of the teams in question will meet at the San Siro on Saturday. Inter Milan will play hosts to Atalanta, as both teams look to continue their strong starts to the season. Now that Juventus had a poor start with only one win in five games, the hunt for a new team in the coveted top four is on. Both of these teams will look to solidify their place there and possibly challenge for the title.

Inter is having a great start, despite losing Achraf Hakimi and Romelu Lukaku in the offseason. They have 13 points in five games, only losing points in a surprise 2-2 draw versus Sampdoria. Atalanta has three points less, as they drew with Bologna and lost to Fiorentina in the first three games of the season.

Here are three things to look forward to and predictions for the upcoming Serie A clash!

Inter Milan – Atlanta predictions

Will Inter Milan continue their goalscoring form? 

As of right now, Inter’s 18 goals in five games is the third-best goalscoring tally in Europe’s top four leagues. Only Real Madrid (21) and Bayern Munich (20) scored more, with the caveat that Madrid has one more game than the Italian team. In Italy, no team comes even close, as Roma has 11, while Milan and Napoli have 10 each. This tally is helped most by the convincing 6-1 win over Bologna last weekend.

Inter had a good goal-scoring year last season as well, putting 89 past opponents, bested only by one team in Italy, which is Atalanta that had 90 goals scored. However, losing Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi, the duo that scored 37 goals together, was thought of as a giant loss for Inter. It turns out that, at least if the start is any indication, they can be replaced. Obviously, both are quality players, but it must be great for Inter fans that they can still put the ball in the back of the net.

The giant losses over the summer were replaced by the duo of Edin Dzeko and Denzel Dumfries, both of which have had great starts to the season. Dzeko already has four goals in the league, putting two past Bologna after coming on as a substitute and scoring a key goal in the 3-1 victory over Fiorentina. If he can keep his form until the end of the season, together with Lautaro Martinez who added three, Inter might have a serious case for the Serie A title only through their attack.

Will Atalanta finally break the spell on their goalscoring? 

It would be a tall task, but Atalanta players might finally start scoring this season. The team that Europe fell in love with for the last two years, due to their goalscoring and attacking football, has not started the season well. Up to this point, they only scored six goals this season, which is the worst tally in the Serie A top six teams. Just to compare, last season they had 15 goals at the same point, after five games.

The drop of nine goals is huge and it is clear that, while most results are positive, something is not going well in the Atalanta front three. While Papu Gomez leaving in January of this year was not ideal for the team, they still kept scoring in bunches even in the second half of the season. This year, Duvan Zapata scored two goals, while Muriel, Gosens, Zappacosta, and Piccoli added one each. A lot more is expected mostly out of Zapata and Muriel, especially due to the attacking football Atalanta is now known for playing.

However, the one player who has left most to be desired is Josip Ilicic. The Slovenian had an immensely successful season in 2019-20, including scoring four goals in a game versus Valencia, in the Champions League, but had personal issues that kept him off the field. After returning, Ilicic simply cannot find his touch and it has gone into this season. However, he is a quality player who might break his spell, just like his team, in a huge game versus Inter.

This will be a tone-setting game

It seems like every season in these big leagues, we are reminded that it is not the big games that determine the season, rather the games versus small opponents that the team simply must beat routinely. However, Atalanta is in a position where if they score a lot of goals and actually find their touch in front of the goal, they could open up and start playing like the years past. With a win here, they would be on the same point tally as Inter and really cement themselves in the top four.

Inter, on the other hand, might send a message to all other teams in the league. If they are able to win and keep a clean sheet against such an attacking side, the Milan team would be alerting the league that they are not going to give up the title easily. This game is a statement, for all the new signings and the squad in general. With the rise of Milan, Roma, and Napoli, Inter might need to keep the focus on from the first until the last game of the season, and this could be a pivotal win for their confidence.