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Match Preview: Atalanta vs. Inter Milan - Serie A Week 23

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Inter ended a streak of bad results against Palermo last week and will try to keep the momentum alive and earn 3 points this Sunday against Atalanta.

Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

Match Facts:

Date: Sunday. February 15, 2015

Time: 9:00am ET/ 15:00 CET

Venue: Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia; Bergamo, Italy

Inter come into this game with some defensive problems in terms of injury: Jonathan has just been ruled out for the season, Nagatomo will miss at least 6 weeks and Vidic and D'Ambrosio are not yet ready to return. Santon will start the second consecutive game, hoping to pick up where he left off against Palermo, Campagnaro and Dodò will fight for a starting role as left-back and Jesus will pair up with Rano in the center. Mancini is thinking to keep the same midfield that played so well in the last match, with Medel, Guarin, and Brozovic, while Podolski will start in place of Palacio as left winger; Shaqiri and Icardi will complete the starting XI. Atalanta will get all their injured players back, including Biava and Masiello, who are two strong players in the Atalanta defense.

Atalanta has often been a tough rival for Inter: The Nerazzurri won the last match 2-0, but in the previous six la Dea was undefeated and Inter won the last match against them at the Azzurri d'Italia 7 years ago (Mancini was the coach). Even Mourinho couldn't manage a win there.

Inter Milan is 10th in the league and won their last match 3-0, snapping a two game losing streak, while Atalanta, 16th, are undefeated in their last 4 matches. It will be an interesting game, since Atalanta has struggled to score this year (2nd worst in goals scored), because of the inefficency of Denis, but Inter has showed some focusing problems defensively so they may try to take advantage of that. On the other hand, a good defensive team like Atalanta will have the hard task to contain a great scoring team like Inter, which has the most header goals this season (six).

The match against Palermo seems to have reversed the side's recent poor run of form, but the team shouldn't become complacent: their hunger to earn the 3 points and please their supporters (well, Icardi..) was the key for the last win, so if they can play with that intensity again they will extend a long awaited winning streak.

Projected Starting XIs

Inter: Handanovic, Campagnaro, Juan Jesus, Ranocchia, Santon, Guarin, Medel, Kovacic, Shaqiri, Podolski, Icardi

Atalanta: Sportiello, Benalouane, Biava, Stendardo, Masiello, Zappacosta, Cigarini, Carmona, Moralez, Pinilla, Denis