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Serie A Preview: Inter vs Parma

The Nerazzurri look to take care of business against the Gialloblu and pick up three vital points in the process...

Pier Marco Tacca

Stats don't lie do they? Well, Inter has only lost one game this season, is currently riding a seven-game unbeaten streak and leads the league in goals scored. All should be well at Appiano Gentile then.

No sir it is not. There is trouble in paradise. The Nerazzurri have dropped points to Bologna, Sampdoria, Atalanta and Torino and now have more draws than wins during their current run.

Wednesday's narrow 3-2 win over Trapani in the Coppa Italia didn't exactly inspire confidence either. The Christmas break can't come soon enough for Inter, which needs to regroup over the holiday season.

Before that three more games need to be played the first of which will be against Parma. On paper this looks like three easy points but right now nothing is for certain with this team.

The Beneamata are either going to come out like men possessed and take care of business or they are going to look like their lethargic selves of the last few weeks. Here's hoping it's the former.


Date: Sunday, December 8, 2013

Time: 2:45 ET

Venue: Stadio Giuseppe Meazza


Inter Probable Formation: 3-4-2-1: Handanovic; Campagnaro, Ranocchia, Juan Jesus; Jonathan, Taider, Cambiasso, Zanetti; Alvarez, Guarin; Palacio

Parma Probable Formation: 4-3-3: Mirante; Cassani, Paletta, Lucarelli, Gobbi; Gargano, Marchionni, Parolo; Biabiany, Cassano, Sansone

Unavailable For Duty: Diego Milito is sidelined with a thigh injury while Mauro Icardi is recovering from hernia surgery and a three-week bender/tryst with Wanda Nara. Cristian Chivu is inching closer to a return from an off-season knee operation. Walter Samuel is struggling with a muscle injury and Yuto Nagatomo is dealing with a sore calf.

Operation Fu Manchu: The objective is to score a decisive victory after too many stalemates against inferior opposition.

Enemy Of The State: There are three former Inter players to choose from and since we love Antonio Cassano in these parts and Walter Gargano is a bum, we are going with Jonathan Biabiany. He only has one goal to his name this season but always seems to turn it up a notch against us. I expect that to be the case once again on Sunday.

Fear Factor: 5: Parma is as frightening as drinking on an empty stomach. What is usually a routine outing can take a turn for the worse pretty quickly when you're worn out, hungry and a little down in the dumps. Let's be careful here or we could wake up with marker all over our face or whatever you Cracker Jacks do when someone passes out early at a party.

Medal of Honor: Javier Zanetti knows full well his team can't look ahead to their two major battles coming up. The squad must focus solely on Parma and I think Pupi's cool, calm demeanour will win us the day.

If Inter Wins: I will enjoy the bottle of Muskoka Chocolate Cranberry Stout that has been calling my name for the last 72 hours. I've had the bottle opener in my hands on three different occasions but somehow refrained from drinking it. I hope to seal the deal on Sunday afternoon.

If Inter Loses: I will go into hibernation until the middle of January when we have Stevan Jovetic and Ezequiel Lavezzi in our starting lineup.

Likely Outcome: This should be money in the bank but with the way Inter has been playing lately this might get hairy. Still, I think the Nerazzurri will do enough to get the job done on Sunday. Palacio looks refreshed as the good guys win 2-1.