Inter Milan head coach Andrea Stramaccioni is contending with a deepening injury crisis at the club as he bids to usurp Juventus at the top of the Serie A table.
The Nerazzurri are in danger of slipping up after sealing a crucial victory in Turin last weekend, for reasons beyond Stramaccioni's control, with the young tactician struggling to name three senior defenders for tomorrow night's trip to Atalanta.
Andrea Ranocchia and Walter Samuel have joined Christian Chivu on the treatment table, with the lack of personnel also affecting the midfield after Gaby Mudingayi picked up an injury against Partizan Belgrade.
Philippe Coutinho, Dejan Stankovic, Jonathan, Joel Obi and Wesley Sneijder are also missing as Inter attempt to claim top spot should Juve slip up against Pescara tonight.
Following a 3-1 victory in Belgrade, Stramaccioni told Gazzetta.it: ``We are playing a lot of games at the moment, we have played more than everybody else and we have had lots of injuries.
``So the real problem at the moment is the fact we have lost so many players at the same time, and now Gaby has been struck down. He's very depressed.
``We have to look forward but I don't know if any players will recover in time for Bergamo.''
Should Antonio Conte's Bianconeri fail to beat Pescara tonight, success at Atalanta would boost Inter to the top of the table courtesy of an 11th consecutive win.
``We have done well to claim a 10th straight victory and that will improve the feeling around the camp,'' he added.
Stramaccioni has been remarkably humble since claiming the spoils in the Derby d'Italia, and he is eager not to let the success go to his head.
He added: ``I hope it will prove crucial to our season but it's too early to talk about ultimate goals, just getting the victory was the important thing.
``The turning point for us was the defeat to Siena. No one gave up after that, so I knew then that this group would succeed.
``The concentration and attention to detail that goes into every match is the most important factor.
``Now we will go back to Milan and think about Atalanta.''
Stefano Colantuono's Atalanta are enjoying a fine run of four games without defeat, from which they have taken 10 points, and the club's general director took time out to praise his coach.
Pier Paolo Marino said: ``Stefano is doing an excellent job and has put an excellent squad together.''
Defender Gian Bellini and midfielder Matteo Scozzarelli will miss out through injury, with Michele Ferri is touch-and-go over a return to the Orobici squad.