When: Sunday, December 18th 6:30am ET/ 12.30pm CET
Where: Mapei Stadium,Reggio Emilia, Italy.
I would have loved to attend this match, especially because I live 30 minutes away from the Mapei Stadium and a friend of mine would have given me his season ticket this Sunday. Unfortunately, a month ago I accepted an invitation to an important lunch, completely unaware that it would have been precisely the same day of the game. Mai una gioia, we would say here in Italy - literally, never a joy.
Personal bad luck aside, I look forward to this match as an important chance to close the year with a good series of positive result that will replenish the player's confidence heading into the winter break. Last season, a bad loss against Lazio in the last game before the Christmas hiatus then became the first false step of a long series of bad performances that saw Inter drop from the top of the standings to the fourth place.
The Genoa match wasn't the prettiest performance we saw from the team this season. At all. The only good things I'd take away from last week's game are the fact that we were solid (or lucky) enough to not concede any goal and that, finally, we converted the few chances we had. Oh, and the result too. The result was just what I hoped for before the match and honestly, getting the three points is the only thing I care about at the moment. Screw the enjoyable yet unsuccessful football, I just want the big prize.
Keep an eye out for Antonino Ragusa. He will be a nightmare to handle for our defense, I'm sure.
Playing against a team with so many injured players is not a usual occurrence so Inter had better take advantage of this lucky event. In fact, the Neroverdi won't be able to benefit from the presence of nine players, who usually are regular starters: Berardi, Cannavaro, Magnanelli, Politano, Gazzola, Duncan, Biondini, Letschert, and Peluso (disqualified).
For Inter, it's hard to say what type of formation will be used an who will be in the starting XI. Pioli is in an experimental mood lately and he already showed that he is not afraid of completely overturning the squad every other match if he can and with only Medel out, Stefano has plenty of options to choose from.
Probable Starting XIs
Sassuolo (4-3-3): Consigli; Lirola, Antei, Acerbi, Adjapong; Mazzitelli, Sensi, Pellegrini; Ricci, Defrel, Ragusa.
Inter (4-2-3-1): Handanovic; D'Ambrosio, Miranda, Murillo, Ansaldi; Brozovic, Joao Mario; Candreva, Eder, Perisic; Icardi.
How to Watch
TV: Sky SuperCalcio HD, Sky Calcio 1 HD & Premium Sport HD (Italy); BT Sport 1 HD (UK); Rai International (USA)
(For other countries' streaming and broadcasting options see here)