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Serie A Preview: Torino vs Inter

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The Nerazzurri look to kick off the domestic campaign with a win on the road…

Marco Luzzani

It's been a successful off-season as far as off-season's go and now it's time for the real thing.

The Nerazzurri are feeling good about themselves after securing the signatures of Nemanja Vidic, Dodo, Yann M'Vila, Pablo Osvaldo and Gary Medel.

The 9-0 aggregate victory over Stjarnan in the Europa League play-offs only added to the optimism that's floating in the air at Appiano Gentile.

Walter Mazzarri wants to keep the good times rolling as his men prepare to make the short trek to Turin to take on the Granata. And the 52-year-old believes his men are up to the task.

"I'm happy with how the team is doing," he said, according to Inter's official website. "Everyone at the club is on the same wavelength."

Torino should provide a stiff test even though its best player Alessio Cerci is set to leave the club this weekend.

A fast start will be imperative for the Beneamata as they hope to be a part of the Champions League race from start to finish.

There is a good vibe in the Inter squad right now and I think the players ride that wave to an opening-day victory.

THE VITALS

Date: Sunday, August 31

Time: 2:45 EST

Venue: Stadio Olimpico Torino

BATTLE DOSSIER

Inter Probable Formation: 3-5-2: Handanovic; Ranocchia, Vidic, Juan Jesus; Nagatomo, M'Vila, Kovacic, Hernanes, Dodo; Osvaldo, Icardi

Torino Probable Formation: 3-5-2: Padelli; Bovo, Glik, Moretti; Darmian, Nocerino, Benassi, El Kaddouri, Molinaro; Barreto, Quagliarella

Unavailable For Duty: Rodrigo Palacio is still nursing a minor knock and will miss Sunday's festivities.

Operation Blue Thunder: The objective is to kick off the campaign with an impressive victory in enemy territory that will set the tone for the entire year.

Enemy Of The State: It seems as if Fabio Quagliarella has played for every big team in Italy except for Inter. The ex-Juve man will no doubt be keen on scoring against his old foes on his Toro debut. And since he only scores spectacular goals, we might be forced to endure countless showings on the highlight shows if he manages the feat.

Medal Of Honour: Mateo Kovacic opened up his Inter account in impressive fashion, netting a hattrick against Stjarnan on Thursday. The 20-year-old is poised for a breakout season and expect him to be the engine that runs Inter's offensive machine.

Fear Factor: 6: Torino is as frightening as a sassy group of cheerleaders, whose most talented and prettiest member no longer wants to be a part of the team and the rest of the unit is hellbent on proving their worth without her.

Likely Outcome: This is not going to be a gimme by any stretch of the imagination, but I like our chances of sneaking out of town with all three points.