Date: Sunday. February 1, 2015
Time: 6:30am ET/ 12:30 CET
Venue: Stadio Città del Tricolore; Reggio Emilia, Italy
So after Inter failed to put the ball in the back of the net against Torino, the team now turns it attention to the side that it has had no problems scoring against in the past, Sassuolo. With Walter Mazzarri managing to lead this team to two 7-0 demolition jobs there are some expectations for Mancini to let his team go for an all-out-attack philosophy and secure another high scoring win to make up for the Torino match. While I don't expect for that to happen, a solid win and 3 points are required.
Sassuolo come into this game with 1 win, 3 draws and 1 loss in their last 5 matches. They are also only one point behind Inter and given that they have only lost one match at home this season in the league, there will be high hopes among the side that they can avoid another heavy defeat. Francesco Acerbi and Antonio Floro Flores are suspended, Federico Peluso is injured, and our friend Saphir Taider is representing Algeria at the African Cup of Nations,
The Nerazzurri have the same 5 match form as Sassuolo. Looking at the attack and midfield, things look fine (more than fine in fact, I'm sure that Podolski and Shaqiri are looking forward to the opportunity to put a few past Consigli). Though new signing Marcelo Brozovic has said that he is fit to start matches immediately, he will most likely spend the beginning of the match on the bench.
Mancini's problems are in the defense. Juan Jesus is serving the final game of his suspension, while D'Ambrosio, Campagnaro, Andreolli, and Nagatomo are all injured. So we are likely to see Obi playing as right back again...yay. (that was sarcasm in case you couldn't tell)
I don't expect this match to end 7-0, I don't even expect it to end 4-0. With Inter you never really know what to expect so I'm not going to try to predict the final score. All I want is a strong performance that ends with 3 points going to the team wearing black and blue. Sassuolo will not roll over in this match; they have some strong attacking threats and with the current holes in the defense I don't think Mancini can afford to go with an all-out-attack mentality. This squad that Mancini has is more than capable of winning this match though, so all they need to do is go out there and prove it.
Projected Starting XIs
Sassuolo: Consigli, Gazzola, Cannavaro, Terranova, Vrsaljko, Brighi, Magnanelli, Missiroli, Berardi, Zaza, Sansone
Inter: Handanovic, Dodo, Vidic, Ranocchia, Obi, Guarin, Medel, Palacio, Kovacic, Podolski, Icardi
(Projected lineups from Forza Italian Football)