Preview: Sassuolo vs Inter
Inter go into this game on the back of a disappointing defeat to Torino at the Meazza last week and will be eager to start winning to put pressure on the teams above them in the table.
There is now a 10 point gap between Inter and 3rd place which is currently held by Napoli. Inter need wins and fast. At this stage performances don’t matter, just results. It’s about time Inter learned how to win ugly.
Inter have been very active on the transfer market so far and Sunday could see another debut after Inter completed the signing of midfielder Marcelo Brozovic this week from Dynamo Zagreb, although he is expected to be a substitute.
Down to the line-up, which is reported by Gazzetta Dello Sport.
Handanovic is expected to start in nets.
In defence Inter have problems due to injuries and suspensions. Andreolli and D’Ambrosio are both out for 3 weeks with thigh strains. Campagnaro and Ranocchia are recovering from knocks and at this stage it will be touch and go right up to kick off time as to whether they start. Jonathan is still not fully fit yet after returning to training. Nagatomo has returned from the Asian Cup with an injury as well.
Juan Jesus serves the last of his 4 match ban picked up against Juventus. D’Ambrosio also has to serve a 1 match ban and with being injured won’t be suspended when he returns. Dodo is expected to start at left back, with a central defensive partnership of Vidic and Medel with Joel Obi at right back.
In holding midfield Kuzmanovic is expected to line up with Guarin as Medel moves to centre back.
In attacking midfield Palacio could start on the left flank with Kovacic playing as a trequartista in the centre and Xherdan Shaqiri should start on the right flank.
Up top Roberto Mancini has been thinking about resting Icardi so Podolski could be moved into the striker role. Mancini has been saying Icardi needs to show more movement and that Icardi reminds him of Balotelli. In my opinion Icardi should keep his place. Also Icardi isn’t a striker that’s going to run about harassing defenders, but if he gets fed the ball properly he is a fox in the box. 10 goals in this Inter side is an amazing return and proof of his undoubted ability.
Probable line-up (subject to change): Handanovic, Obi, Medel, Vidic, Dodo, Kuzmanovic, Guarin, Palacio, Kovacic, Shaqiri and Podolski.
Some Stats: Inter have only played Sassuolo 3 times in Serie A. Inter have a 100% record winning all 3 matches against the Neroverdi.
In the 2 matches at the Giuseppe Meazza Inter won 1-0 on 9/2/2014 and 7-0 on 14/9/2014. In that 7-0 Icardi scored a hat-trick.
In the 1 match at the Mapei Stadium Inter also won 7-0 on 22/9/2013.
In the 3 matches Inter have scored 15 goals and conceded 0.
Player to watch: Xherdan Shaqiri – Sassuolo have a good attack but do leak goals. Shaqiri has looked sharp when he has played and he looks hungry.
My Prediction: Sassuolo 1-3 Inter Scorers: Shaqiri x2, Palacio (Inter) and Berardi (Sassuolo)
Officials: Referee: Valeri Assistants: Costanzo and Schenone 4th Official: Passeri Additional Assistants: Cervellera and La Penna
For me this is definitely a match we should be winning especially given our record against Sassuolo. I want to see a dangerous Inter. Our passing needs to be sharp and crosses from wide positions needs to be far better or else this could turn out like the match against Torino.