Many of us loathe the international break for a variety of mostly valid reasons and the latest pause was no different as it robbed Inter of some serious momentum.
The Nerazzurri are starting to hit their stride and currently boast a five-game unbeaten streak that will hopefully extend to eight heading into an important two-match stretch against Napoli and Milan.
First things first, however, as Inter travel to Bologna, who have lost four of its last seven and hover just one point above the relegation zone.
A roadtrip last season would be cause for panic no matter where the opponent stood in the standings but the Beneamata are a different animal away from home this year.
Inter has not lost on its road travels and has scored 18 goals away from the Giuseppe Meazza. Everything is pointing towards a Nerazzurri victory but a solid effort will be required nonetheless to pick up all three points.
Date: Sunday, November 24, 2013
Time: 2:45 ET
Venue: Stadio Renato Dall'Ara
Inter Probable Formation: 3-5-1-1: Handanovic; Campagnaro, Rolando, Juan Jesus; Jonathan, Taider, Cambiasso, Alvarez, Nagatomo; Guarin, Palacio
Bologna Probable Formation: 3-5-1-1: Curci; Garics, Sorensen, Antonsson; Kone, Khrin, Pazienza, Laxalt, Morleo; Diamanti, Cristaldo
Unavailable For Duty: Mauro Icardi is recovering from successful hernia surgery and Diego Milito is nursing a thigh injury. Walter Samuel is out with a sore hamstring while Andrea Ranocchia is suspended.
Operation Aglio E Olio: The objective is to waltz into enemy territory in the middle of the afternoon and take care of business by using our superior firepower. Simple yet effective.
Enemy Of The State: There's no doubt that Alessandro Diamanti is a righteous dude and when he's on his game he's a dangerous dude at that. I'd bet a pretty penny that he'd be a blast to roam the town with at three in the morning. I really like this guy but he will be our adversary on Sunday. Here's hoping he has a wee bit too much to drink on Saturday night and doesn't arrive home until a few hours before the game. I'm not saying we employ the old honey trap on him or anything but...
Fear Factor: 4: Bologna is as frightening as horror movies from the 1980s. They used to scare the piss out of you years ago but watching one now actually has the opposite effect. It's comical and can cause hysterical laughing fits. Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers no longer have the power to instill fear in you or keep you up at night. It's funny for all the wrong reasons now.
Medal Of Honor: Rodrigo Palacio has received many of the accolades for the Nerazzurri's recent surge and rightfully so. His purple patch continues with another goal at the expense of Bologna.
If Inter Wins: I will pull out the bottle of Apothic in the fridge and enjoy it over a nice Sunday meal with the family.
If Inter Loses: I will put on a horror movie from the 1980s to put me in a good mood again.
Likely Outcome: I can't see us losing this game unless Rolando does get the nod at center-back and commits one gaffe after another. Even then we should have the horses to run away with this one. I should finish 2-1 for the good guys.