Reigning Scudetto holders Inter travel to Bergamo to face Atalanta in Serie A on Sunday evening.
The newly crowned Supercoppa winners, having bested Juventus over two hours on Wednesday evening, have lost just one match to Italian opposition all season (W16 D4). Atalanta are one of the few teams that avoided defeat at the hands of Simone Inzaghi’s winning machine this term, duking out a typically entertaining 2-2 draw in September.
Here’s the XI the Nerazzurri may deploy against the, well, other Nerazzurri.
Samir Handanovic (GK) – After eight barren seasons at Inter, the veteran captain has hoisted aloft two trophies in the space of six months.
Milan Skriniar (CB) – Inter‘s match winner last weekend has never scored in consecutive Serie A games.
Stefan de Vrij (CB) – When comparing Inzaghi with his militant predecessor, De Vrij called upon Dutch Impressionism for his unique analysis: “Antonio Conte’s 3-5-2 I compare it to a picture of Mondrian, symmetrical, that of Simone Inzaghi to one of Van Gogh, more imaginative.”
Alessandro Bastoni (CB) – In assessing the qualities of the illustrious managers he’s played under, Bastoni valued Inzaghi’s ‘human contact’ over the detail-oriented approach of his Atalanta manager Gian Piero Gasperini.
Denzel Dumfries (RWB) – Having vied with Matteo Darmian for a starting berth in the opening months of the season, the junior option has begun every league game since December.
Nicolo Barella (CM) – Inter’s tireless midfielder puts his remarkable success for club and country down to a childhood spent watching ‘every football game with his dad’, soaking up as much information as possible before training until it was too dark to see the ball.
Marcelo Brozovic (CM) – The legendary Serie A manager Zdenek Zeman once opined: “It’s not how much you run, it’s how well you run.” Brozovic runs as well and as far as anyone in Italy’s top flight.
Hakan Calhanoglu (CM) – Across the past two Serie A seasons, Calhanoglu has created 147 chances for his teammates, in excess of 30 more than the next most prolific creator during this period.
Ivan Perisic (LWB) – Atalanta are the side against which Perisic has gone the most Serie A matches in his career without a single goal or assist (ten games).
Lautaro Martinez (ST) – Inter’s top scorer leads the league for non-penalty expected goals per 90 minutes (according to FBref), averaging chances worth three goals every five games.
Edin Dzeko (ST) – As the only player to score multiple league goals with his left foot, right foot and head this season, Dzeko has proven to be an all-rounder in his debut campaign at Inter.