After a brief break following a 6-2 win over Benevento in the Coppa Italia, Inter Milan will return to Serie A action when they start the reverse of the schedule and host Sassuolo Saturday at the Giuseppe Meazza.
Sassuolo won the last match between these two teams, 1-0 at the Mapei.
Here is a look at team news for both squads coming into Saturday’s match:
Inter Milan team news
Not only has it been a very quiet January transfer window for Inter, it has been a relatively quiet week as well.
Only news of defender Milan Skriniar rejecting the most recent contract extension offer has made headlines … oh, and Saturday’s match will still have no fans aside of more than 10,000 children who have been allowed to watch the match following a two-match fan ban.
Following racial chants and incidents after a 1-0 win over Napoli on Boxing Day, FIGC imposed the two-match ban on fans being allowed in the Meazza.
The only other thing is that midfielder Radja Nainggolan has been practicing with the squad and is on track to return to the starting lineup for the Nerazzurri. The Belgian has been out of the lineup for several matches now.
In the 6-2 win over Benevento in the Coppa Italia, Inter manager Luciano Spalletti tinkered with starting both Lautaro Martinez and Mauro Icardi up front, which seemed to be a good fit. However, I don’t expect him to keep that formation Saturday.
Inter has won the last seven home matches, keeping clean sheets in six of those wins. They are third in Serie A, five points back of Napoli and seven points ahead of Lazio. They have given up just 14 goals in 19 matches – second-lowest in Serie A behind Juventus.
Winger Matteo Politano will return to face his previous team. He made 96 appearances for the Neroverdi, scoring 20 goals across those matches.
The only injury news is that Keita Balde will be out of the this match and likely for the next few weeks.
Projected lineup: Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, de Vrij, Skriniar, Asamoah; Brozovic, Nainggolan, Vecino; Politano, Perisic; Icardi.
Sassuolo team news
In looking at statistics for Sassuolo, the only thing the team is really climbing the ranks on is red cards. Filiip Duricic and Marlon Santos have each received a red card this season.
Otherwise, Sassuolo is pretty bland.
But, don’t let that fool you as they have been a thorn in the side of Inter Milan for the last few seasons. In fact, the Neroverdi have won seven of the last 11 meetings between the two teams. However, three of Sassuolo’s worst defeats in Serie A play have come at the hands of Inter.
In the first 19 matches of the season, Sassuolo find themselves in 11th place in the league, managing 30 goals while giving up 32. They are winless in their last four matches across all competitions – including a 2-0 defeat at Napoli in the Coppa Italia round of 16. Sassuolo has only won three of their last 10 matches in all competitions.
Their last win was Dec. 16 when they defeated Frosinone, 2-0.
Kevin-Prince Boateng leads Sassuolo with four goals this season.
Projected lineup: Pegolo; Kosok, Magnani, Peluso, Da Silva; Locatelli, Sensi, Duncan; Berardi, Boateng, Djuricic.
Time and Date: 2:30 p.m. (EST), Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019
Where: Stadio Giuseppe Meazza (Milan)
How to watch: If you are in the United States, you can watch the match on ESPN+. In the United Kingdom, the match will be streamed on Eleven Sports 2 UK. The match will be shown on DAZN in Italy.
Click here to find out how you can watch the match wherever you are in the world.
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