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Serie A Preview: Inter vs Atalanta

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The Nerazzurri look to extend their unbeaten streak to seven when they host the Bergamo-based club on Sunday…

Inter is not playing champagne football, but has done enough to secure 14 points out of a possible 18 in its last six games. Progress indeed I think we can all agree.

And things should get even more peachy keen with Atalanta and Udinese both slated to visit San Siro in the next seven days.

While I don't think this Inter squad is ready to speed past its adversaries like Valentino Rossi, it's time for Walter Mazzarri to take off the training wheels for good.

This team is by no means the finished product, but it has played fairly well recently and seems to be improving by the week, with the rock solid defense the catalyst for Inter's revival.

The back line has conceded just two goals during its six-game unbeaten run and none in its last three matches. It has to be said that the addition of Rolando is looking like one of the shrewdest moves of the summer.

Napoli and Fiorentina, the two teams directly ahead of Inter, are set to play each other this weekend so the Beneamata are poised to gain some ground on one of those teams in the standings.

But first things first, as Atalanta come into Sunday's clash on a three-game winning streak and held the Nerazzurri to a draw earlier in the season.

Still, I think this one is Inter's to lose and with a quick peek at the schedule, it doesn't look like that's happening any time soon.

THE VITALS

Date: Sunday, March 23

Time: 10:00 AM, EST

Venue: Giuseppe Meazza

BATTLE DOSSIER

Inter Probable Formation: 3-5-2: Handanovic; Campagnaro, Ranocchia, Rolando; Jonathan, Guarin, Cambiasso, Hernanes, Nagatomo; Palacio, Icardi

Atalanta Probable Formation: 4-4-1-1: Consigli; Raimondi, Stendardo, Yepes, Del Grosso; Estigarribia, Cigarini, Carmona, Bonaventura; Moralez; Denis

Unavailable For Duty: Juan Jesus is serving the final game of his three-match suspension.

Operation Lucky Number Slevin: The objective is to keep building momentum with two more victories on home soil before venturing out to the Communist held stronghold of Livorno at the end of the month.

Enemy Of The State: German Denis is from Argentina. He is a striker. He scores goals. But Inter has never come calling. This has infuriated him. And now all he does is score goals when he plays Inter.

Fear Factor: 4: Atalanta is as scary as the guy who shows up to a gala wearing the same color suit and tie as you. It's not a big deal… because we're guys.

Medal Of Honor: Rodrigo Palacio has continued to deliver the goods for the Nerazzurri during the campaign and has started to heat up again, scoring two goals in his last two outings. Expect him to extend that streak to three on the weekend.

If Inter Wins: I will enjoy another Chocolate Manifesto by Flying Monkey's, which has been treating me very well in the last week.

If Atalanta Wins: I will petition the league to allow us to play the rest of our games away from the Meazza for the rest of the season.

Likely Outcome: I'm pretty confident that the good guys will earn all three points, with Hernanes chipping in with his first goal for the club.