Preview: Sassuolo vs Inter Milan – prediction, team news, lineups
Still undefeated in Serie A, on Saturday night Scudetto champions Inter Milan will face Sassuolo in the center of the table at Mapei Stadium.
While the Nerazzurri have adjusted to life with Simone Inzaghi with the minimum of fuss, their hosts are still embracing their own leadership change and have only won twice in the league this season.
In perhaps the best match of an eventful Serie A season so far, there was hardly time to breathe at the San Siro last Saturday, when Inter and local rivals Atalanta played an exciting and eventful draw.
As the action shifted from one extreme to the other, both Lautaro Martínez and unstoppable visiting player Ruslan Malinovskyi fired memorable goals at home, and the game ended 2-2 after VAR ruled out a late ‘winner’ from Atalanta.
Although their failure to win cost the Nerazzurri second place in the standings to city rivals Milan, it was a well-earned point in the final analysis and, followed by a goalless draw in the Champions League with the Shakhtar Donetsk midweek keeps them going to get closer to the next international break.
Despite their rare white space in Europe, a second straight group game without scoring a goal, in the league, Inter are only the second team to score 20 or more times in the first six games of a season since the switch. century.
Not only that, but Inzaghi’s team, led by Martinez and summer signing Edin Dzeko, have now scored two or more goals in each of their last 11 league games; a streak that began with the predecessor of current coach Antonio Conte.
Indeed, never in their long and illustrious Serie A history have Inter achieved that feat in 12 consecutive games, so the current team can take a piece of club history home by opening the Sassuolo defense more than once on a Saturday night.
Although they have historically managed to share the spoils with Inter at their Emilian headquarters, Sassuolo has lost his last two games there against his most recognizable rivals: a 4-3 thriller in 2019 and a 3-0 loss in November last year.
Therefore, they will be even more nervous about the visit of the champions this weekend, having had a slow start in Serie A.
Neroverdi suffered a third consecutive loss in the league when they were beaten 2-1 at Atalanta in mid-September, but at least now they have achieved their first win since opening day, with the win over basement club Salernitana the last. time.
Domenico Berardi’s strike in the second half saw last season’s eighth finishers over the line against the new top flight boys, and the Euro 2020 winner will be an integral part of any hope of maintaining his hard-won status. effort as regular European contenders in the past few years. years.
The much-admired striker may also have a significant role to play on Saturday, as Sassuolo’s star man has been involved in 10 goals during his last 10 league games against teams in the top three of the table, with seven goals and three. assists.
Sitting in 12th place before the weekend, Alessio Dionisi’s men have proven to be far less profitable in terms of goals and points at this stage of the campaign compared to their electric start in 2020-21, under popular predecessor Roberto. From Zerbi, who incidentally was the mastermind behind the Shakhtar. tie with Inter on Tuesday.
In fact, with either of the two managers, the Emilianos have not managed to keep their clean sheet consecutively since December 2020; with their next opponents unlikely to falter in and around the area.
The former Empoli boss, then, will expect his other forwards to help Berardi in the final third if they want to avoid a third consecutive Inter win on their own ground this weekend.