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Serie A Preview: Inter vs Sampdoria

The Nerazzurri look to take care of business as Sinisa Mihajlovic returns to his old stomping ground...

Claudio Villa

Inter blew an opportunity to move into third place when it could only manage a draw against Bologna last weekend.

Lady Luck was her usual fickle self with the Nerazzurri as they missed a plethora of golden chances that should have seen them comfortably ahead.

The Beneamata finally levelled matters when Jonathan's shot took a wicked deflection off a Rossoblu defender and beat Gianluca Curci only to see Juan Jesus' potential winner hit the crossbar in injury time.

It's not all doom and gloom though as Inter do have a six-game unbeaten streak to boast about heading into the clash with Sampdoria.

This is certainly not your father's Samp as it languishes in the relegation zone with only two victories this season.

Inter has already left too many points out on the pitch this year and can't afford another letdown on Sunday ahead of an important two-game stretch against Napoli and Milan in a few weeks.

That being said I can't really envision a scenario where we don't pick up all three points but an early goal would be most welcome.


Date: Sunday, December 1, 2013

Time: 9:00 ET

Venue: Giuseppe Meazza


Inter Probable Formation: 3-5-1-1: Handanovic; Campagnaro, Ranocchia, Juan Jesus; Jonathan, Taider, Cambiasso, Alvarez, Zanetti; Guarin; Palacio

Sampdoria Probable Formation: 4-2-3-1: Da Costa; De Silvestri, Mustafi, Gastaldello, Costa; Palombo, Obiang; Gabbiadini, Eder, Soriano, Pozzi

Unavailable For Duty: Diego Milito and Walter Samuel are still nursing thigh injuries, while Mauro Icardi is recovering from successful hernia surgery. Yuto Nagatomo is unlikely to feature after tweaking his calf against Bologna.

Operation Operation Ivy (Awesome Band): The objective is to trample on the already downtrodden and stamp out their will to live.

Enemy Of The State: I wouldn't be adverse to Esteban Cambiasso giving Manolo Gabbiadini a love-tap two minutes into the game just to let him know he's watching him. Juve players on co-ownership or loan deals usually harbor grandiose plans when playing Inter as they know word of an impressive display will reach the Death Star back in Turin.

Fear Factor: 3: Sampdoria is as scary as your favorite teenage cousin's overeager boyfriend who tries too hard to impress the family at his first holiday dinner. It's awkward for the first little bit and you have to bite your tongue on a couple of occasions but eventually you tune him out. He's super annoying for sure but he poses no threat whatsoever and eventually the overflow of pasta, vino and grappa take their toll and he disappears into the night.

Medal Of Honor: We'll give #IBelongToJonathan some love here seeing as he's scored some vital goals for us this season although I think Rodrigo Palacio will be the driving force for us. The Argentine will be raring to score against his old foes and I would be surprised if he doesn't bag a brace here.

If Inter Wins: I will be thankful that at least one of my teams is on the up and up after Michigan loses by 50 to Ohio State. I will gleefully sip on an Amsterdam Tempest Imperial Stout and eat two double chocolate chunk biscotti, while humming the Champions League anthem in front of a warm, crackling fire.

If Inter Loses: I will run barefoot in the four feet of snow that's currently in my backyard and seriously think of staying there all night until the impending frostbite gets the best of me.

Likely Outcome: Walter Mazzarri will score a comfortable victory over his old team as Inter run out 3-0 winners.

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