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Serie A Preview: Inter vs. Atalanta

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The Nerazzurri look to end their hoodoo against the Bergamo-based club...

Tullio M. Puglia


Inter hopes to bounce back from an unlucky 1-1 draw with Palermo when they lock horns with Atalanta on Wednesday.

The Nerazzurri fell behind the eight ball in the early going after Nemanja Vidic's error led directly to the opening goal.

The Beneamata eventually levelled matters thanks to Mateo Kovacic and thought they had done enough to secure all three points, but had two goals chalked off for offsides.

It was a disappointing blow for Inter, which will need to rebound quickly with its bogey team Atalanta paying a visit to San Siro midweek.

The Nerazzurri have lost two straight home games to Atalanta and haven't beaten them since April 2010.

Walter Mazzarri is hoping the Beneamata can exorcise some past demons and attain three points in the process.

"We have to prove that we're good enough to break that tradition," Mazzarri said in a press conference. "Teams always find an extra gear when they face Inter.

"You have to match your opponents on a physical and mental level and if we manage that, then we can let our quality shine through."

The Nerazzurri are unbeaten in three league matches and have only conceded one goal as they hope to tie down an Atalanta side, which has scored 10 times in its last four clashes with Inter.

THE VITALS

Date: Wednesday, September 24

Time: 2:45 ET

Venue: Giuseppe Meazza

BATTLE DOSSIER

Inter Probable Formation: 3-5-2: Handanovic; Andreolli, Ranocchia, Juan Jesus; Jonathan, Kovacic, Medel, Hernanes, Dodo; Icardi, Palacio

Atalanta Probable Formation: 4-4-1-1: Sportiello; Zappacosta, Benalouane, Cherubin, Drame; D'Alessandro, Carmona, Baselli, Estigarribia; Moralez; Denis

Unavailable For Duty: Mazzarri has the luxury of choosing from an-injury free squad.

Operation Voodoo Chile: The objective is to break down the psychological hold that the enemy possesses over our forces by unleashing Gary Medel upon the Atalanta midfield on the way to an emphatic triumph that will be remembered for years to come.

Fear Factor: 8: Atalanta is as frightening as a Battle of the Bands competition that you are favoured to win, but when it's your time to shine you inexplicably fail to hit the right notes.... for the fourth straight year. It's all mental at this point.

Enemy Of The State: Who else can it be but German friggen Denis. I don't care that he might not play. I'm not counting on that. The Argentine veteran haunts me when I close my eyes to go to bed at night. He has scored six goals in his last four games against Inter, which has yet to take my advice and sign him for that specific reason alone. How much money has his goals cost us over the years? Sign him, put him on the bench, play him in the Coppa Italia a few times and then sit back and watch us finally beat Atalanta on a regular basis. Problem solved.

Medal Of Honour: Mateo Kovacic has been firing on all cylinders for the Nerazzurri this season and is blossoming into a star before our very eyes. There will be some growing pains, but for right now let's just enjoy the show.

Likely Outcome: I mean we have to beat these guys eventually right? On paper, Inter is the better side, but whether that translates to a victory is another story. Still, I think we break the hex with a comfortable 3-1 win ending this tomfoolery once and for all.