ROME (AFP) The Mario Balotelli saga not only soured Inter Milans Champions League victory over Barcelona on Tuesday but it is also threatening to derail their Serie A title run-in. Champions Inter host Atalanta on Saturday evening knowing they must win if they are to entertain hopes of overhauling leaders AS Roma over the last four matches. And yet rather than being left in peace to get their heads down and prepare for the game, the fall-out of Balotellis petulent shirt-throwing is engulfing the team. Inter coach Jose Mourinho had said after the Barca game that Balotelli would play against Atalanta because he would need to give his regular starters a rest. But Inter president Massimo Moratti was not so sure, knowing full well that Balotellis presence could divide the fans. Not only was the teenage striker jeered and insulted from the terraces during and immediately after the game (to which he responded by chucking his shirt on the floor) but he was also attacked as he tried to leave the stadium. Whats more, fan forums have been red hot with anger directed at the Italian of Ghanaian origin. He also had to leave training on Thursday via a side exit to avoid the hoards waiting for him at the front gate and eager to express their fury. It was like a public suicide, said Moratti of Balotellis actions. I dont know if hell play against Atalanta as Mourinho said in the heat of the moment, theres a lot to do. Well see. Things were not helped either by press reports that Balotelli has handed in a transfer request and wants to leave at the end of the season, nor his refusal to answer a question on Gazzetta TV about whether or not he still felt a part of the club. This situation leaves Mourinho with a conundrum as he must decide what is best for the team. Forwards Diego Milito, Goran Pandev and Samuel Etoo ran themselves into the ground on Tuesday night the first two leaving the field with cramp and will need to do so again in the return leg in Barcelona next Wednesday. Mourinho clearly would want to use Balotelli to rest the others but not at the risk of turning fans against their own team. Yet he has few other options with only winger Ricardo Quaresma and little used Austrian Marco Arnautovic as other options. The Austrian has made only two substitute appearances this season while most of Quaresmas 11 league games have also come from the bench. Inter are coming up against a team fighting for their Serie A lives, two points from safety but having won four of their last six games. However, all of those were at home and they have actually lost their last four away matches and have not won on their travels since November and a 2-0 success at Siena, who are also in the drop zone. Roma face possibly their toughest remaining test as they host Sampdoria at Romes Stadio Olimpico on Sunday. Playing a day after Inter they may once again find themselves deposed at kick-off, as happened last week. But Roma are on a 24-match unbeaten league run and have a one-point lead to hold onto. Sampdoria, though, are also fighting for an important objective as they look to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in their history. They currently hold that crucial fourth place and lead Palermo by two points and Napoli by five, while they are on a three-game winning streak. Palermo host AC Milan, whose title hopes all but died last week with their defeat at Samp, while Napoli entertain Cagliari. Fixtures: Saturday Inter Milan v Atalanta, Palermo v AC Milan Sunday Bologna v Parma, Fiorentina v Chievo, Genoa v Lazio, Juventus v Bari, Livorno v Catania, Napoli v Cagliari, AS Roma v Sampdoria, Udinese v Siena