Preview: Sassuolo vs Inter

Preview: Sassuolo vs Inter
May 13, 2016 15:02
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The final day of the 2015/16 Serie A season is upon us as Inter travel to the Mapei Stadium to take on Europa League qualification hopefuls Sassuolo on Saturday night (kick-off 20:45 CET).

Inter come into this game on the back of another disappointing and disjointed performance last weekend against Empoli at the San Siro, however the Nerazzurri were at least able to take all three points in a 2-1 win thanks to Mauro Icardi and Ivan Perisic goals.

The final score line meant that Inter secured a fourth-place finish this campaign and Europa League group-phase qualification for next season. It is also the Nerazzurri’s highest league finish since they finished second in the 2010/11 season.

Inter may have nothing to play for per-say but it is important that they take this game seriously to close out the campaign in the right way as winning breeds confidence. Some players will want to impress not only Roberto Mancini if they want to stay at the club, but also to put themselves in the shop window coming up to the Summer transfer market.

Sassuolo come into this game on the back of a 0-1 success away at Frosinone. That was the Neroverdi’s third win in a row and it also condemned the Ciociari to relegation in their first ever top-flight campaign.

Sassuolo are hitting form at the perfect time as they hunt down a possible route into next season’s Europa League. The Neroverdi are one point ahead of Milan and know that a win over Inter will complete their season with a sixth-place finish.

Finishing sixth would see Sassuolo qualify for the Europa League, but only if Juventus beat Milan in the Coppa Italia final. Should the Rossoneri upset the odds to beat Juve in that final, however a sixth-place finish in the league would not qualify for European football.

Here is the Inter team news and probable line-up as reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport at the time of writing this article:

Roberto Mancini is expected to make a raft of changes for this game due to suspensions and injuries with some of the successful Primavera Coppa Italia winning side likely to be promoted to the first team for this fixture.

Samir Handanovic is suspended so Juan Pablo Carrizo is expected to deputise in goal. At right back Danilo D’Ambrosio is expected to keep his place alongside a central defensive pairing of Jeison Murillo and Juan Jesus. Joao Miranda could be rested after picking up a knock last weekend. At left back one of Yuto Nagatomo or Alex Telles should start with the Brazilian favoured.

In midfield there are question marks over Gary Medel after he also picked up a knock against Empoli. In a double-pivot Geoffrey Kondogbia could be partnered by one of Felipe Melo or Assane Gnoukouri with the latter favoured.

In the attacking positions Ivan Perisic is suspended and captain Mauro Icardi injured after picking up a thigh strain last week.

Marcelo Brozovic could start on the right with Eder on the left. Stevan Jovetic is expected to fill the trequartista role behind Rey Manaj in the central striking role.

Probable Inter line-up (subject to change): (4-2-3-1) Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, Murillo, Juan Jesus, Telles; Gnoukouri, Kondogbia; Brozovic, Jovetic, Eder; Manaj

Bench: Berni, Radu, Santon, Della Giovanna, Nagatomo, Gyamfi, Miangue, Melo, Bonetto, Palacio, Ljajic, Biabiany, Baldini, Correia

Some Stats:

Inter and Sassuolo have met twice in Serie A at the Mapei Stadium with both sides winning one match apiece.

In the overall league records (home & away), Inter lead the stats with three wins to Sassuolo’s two wins in five meetings between the sides.

There has never been a draw in this fixture.

Samir Handanovic is the most booked goalkeeper in Serie A this season with five yellow cards.

Sassuolo have won their last two matches against Inter, winning 0-1 at the San Siro earlier this campaign and beating the Nerazzurri in last season’s corresponding fixture at the Mapei 3-1.

Inter’s last win away at the Neroverdi came back in September 2013 in a 0-7 thumping with goals from Palacio, Ricky Alvarez, Cambiasso, Taider, Milito x2 and an own goal.

Player to Watch: Eder – This will be a good opportunity for the Italian international to impress not only Roberto Mancini as he seeks to stake his claim at Inter, but also Italy CT Antonio Conte ahead of Euro 2016.

My Prediction: Sassuolo 1-1 Inter

Scorers: Sansone (Sassuolo), Eder (Inter)

Officials: Referee: Andrea Gervasoni     Assistants: De Luca, Fiorito

Fourth Official: Longo      Additional Assistants: Valeri, Doveri

Author’s Note: With Inter having already secured fourth-place it’s hard to know what type of performance the Nerazzurri will come up with in this game. Sassuolo need to achieve the same result or better as Milan, who take on Roma, if they are to finish sixth. Roberto Mancini will want to end the season with a win but more importantly with a confident and consistent performance.

I hope you have enjoyed all the previews this season and as always Forza Inter!

Ian Kerr

By Editorial Staff


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