Inter vs Atalanta

After a prolonged season in which Italy was greatly affected by the Coronavirus crisis, the Serie A season draws to an exciting close for a campaign which promised so much. Top of that list is the crunch clash where free-scoring Atalanta host Inter Milan.

It presents a final day showdown of Serie A heavyweights who would undoubtedly look to wrestle the Scudetto from Juventus next season having fallen just short this year. A disappointed Antonio Conte has declared second or third place isn’t for him and his team as it’s just recognition for first loser, whilst Gian Piero Gasperini would be aiming to beat Atalanta’s highest league position having finished third last season. 

Inter currently occupy second spot by a single point, with Lazio level with Atalanta also facing Napoli on the final day, it appears three points would seal second spot for either of the three.

The chasing pack have impressively reduced the gap between the top four from 21 points last season to only five this campaign. Signs of the fiercely-increasing queue to displace Juventus, perhaps the struggles of a bland title victory in Maurizio Sarri’s first season in Turin.

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Alejandro 'Papu' gomez
Papu Gomez is set to inspire Atalanta’s lethal bunch. (Getty Images)

This tie pits the brawns of Inter versus Atalanta’s spontaneous approach as the Bergamo side require two goals to reach 100 league goals this season. Not a big ask if you’ve watched Atalanta in Serie A this season.

Gasperini’s men need the morale boost ahead of a tantalizing clash with PSG in the Champions League Quarterfinals, having not lost since the restart. They will be without talisman Josip Iličić for either game, however, and need every ounce of goodwill going into the knockout fixture on August 12.

READ ALSO: How Gasperini created Atalanta’s goal scoring machine

Alejandro ‘Papu’ Gómez is the most creative player in Serie A with 16 assists and he would be keen to end the season that way with Lazio’s Luis Alberto only one behind.

Inter Milan
Inter Milan are looking to end their season on a high. (Inter Milan/Twitter)

Conte has been frustrated by how Inter’s title charge dwindled either side of lockdown, especially as Juve haven’t been at their efficient best. Although extending their run of clean sheets in four of their last six games seems unlikely away to Atalanta, the ex-Juventus and Chelsea boss would be desperate for maximum points to end the league season in the best shape for their Europa League campaign.

The Nerazzurri boss just might rotate a bit given their Round of 16 clash with Getafe is only four days later, nevertheless, he would be going for the kill with Lautaro Martínez having been rested and coming off the bench to score a fantastic winner against Napoli in midweek.

Notwithstanding the ultimately fruitless challenge for Juve’s crown this season, both teams will be major factors in the title race come next season, and they are set to deliver a spicy prelude on the final matchday.

This shootout for the ‘first loser’ position just might set the tone for the preceding marathon, starting in only a matter of weeks.


Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin

Chief Editor of the Football Castle, Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin is a football junkie and writer of the beautiful game.

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