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Inter Milan vs Sassuolo preview: The grind begins

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Inter welcome the Neroverdi to the San Siro on Wednesday in match 2 since the restart

US Sassuolo v FC Internazionale - Serie A Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

With the games coming thick and fast, the Nerrazurri don’t have much time to reflect on a 2-1 win over Sampdoria. Instead, Antonio Conte and Inter Milan must turn all of their attention to the team next on the menu, Sassuolo.

Atalanta BC v US Sassuolo - Serie A
Sassuolo’s first game back, against Atalanta
Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Sassuolo has had an up and down season so far, and are currently in 12th with 32 points. Well above the relegation tussle, Sassuolo is also far from reaching the Europa League. But this isn’t a run of the mill mid table side. Instead, Sassuolo could be seen as a poor man’s Atalanta. When it’s their day, the attacking trio of Jeremie Boga, Domenico Berardi, and Francesco Caputo can all cause opposing defenders a great deal of problems and score boatloads of goals. That doesn’t happen as often as Sassuolo would like, though, hence the mediocre league position.

Sassuolo did show it’s offensive strengths in the earlier meeting between these sides, but Inter still took a thrilling 4-3 victory from the Mapei Stadium. Inter’s backline has got to be prepared for a much greater threat than the one presented by Sampdoria.

Sassoulo was also in action Sunday, but did not do near as well, losing 4-1 to Atalanta. The game was much closer, though, as the expected goals details. Sassoulo ranked a 2.51 in that metric, not far at all from Atalanta’s 3.17.

A major difference in Sassuolo’s expected vs actual goals is its inability to convert 1v1 chances. I’m not exaggerating when I say that Atalanta’s net minder, Pierluigi Gollini, had to deal with 4 or 5 such situations, yet none got past him. It was something to watch.

Atalanta BC v US Sassuolo - Serie A
One of the many stops Pierluigi Gollini was forced to make
Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Predicted Starting XI’s

Inter’s Starting XI
Sassuolo’s Starting XI

Notes

  • Sasoulo could be expected to rotate slightly, as it has what appears to be a much more winnable fixture on Sunday against Hellas Verona. Still, don’t expect much change, as Inter has gaps that could definitely be exploited in return for a point or more for Sassuolo.
  • The midfield three of Brozovic, Sensi, and Vecino remain on the shelf for this one so Conte may rotate slightly by replacing Gagliardini with Valero.

Prediction

I am hopeful that this could be an excellent game of football, even if it may not have the highlights sure to come later in the evening during Atalanta vs Lazio. Inter’s beautiful team play coupled with Sassuolo‘s potent attack will provide an interesting contrast. Inter must avoid another second half slump, though, as this opponent would surely take full advantage of that. I predict a repeat of the 2-1 scoreline in Inter’s favor, but this time in a much more free flowing game than before.