Coming off of consecutive draws against Atalanta and Shakhtar Donetsk in the past week, Inter have a chance to close this stretch of games before the international break on a positive note with Saturday’s trip to Sassuolo. While the Neroverdi have been considered a bogey team for Inter, things have changed in recent encounters. Inter will look to put that narrative firmly in the past with a win.
With the departure of manager Roberto De Zerbi for Shakhtar in the summer, this Sassuolo team has looked a bit different to start this season under the management of former Venezia and Empoli boss Alessio Dionisi. They have only two wins from their first six in Serie A, scoring six goals and giving up seven, not quite the return rate Sassuolo have been known for in recent years. In their last match, they beat Salernitana by a 1-0 scoreline. Given the current state of Salernitana, more than one goal may have been expected.
Despite the slow start, Sassuolo still boast an impressive attacking arsenal. Domenico Berardi, Jeremie Boga, Giacomo Raspadori, Filip Djuricic, Hamed Traore and even Gianluca Scamacca can strike at any moment when they are on the pitch. Inter will have to watch out for the speedy wingers of Sassuolo on the break with the high line they have been playing this season.
Tuesdays’ 0-0 draw against Shakhtar was tough to watch at times. But in Serie A, Inter have brought the firepower. Even in last weekend’s draw with Atalanta, Inter could have had more in front of goal. They have scored the most goals in the league and have the second best goal differential at 13 to Napoli’s 14. To keep the goal scoring pace high, Lautaro Martinez and one of Edin Dzeko or Joaquin Correa will have to begin to put away some of those missed chances that have plagued Inter in their past two matches.
On the pitch, Matteo Darmian and Ivan Perisic could see themselves back on the pitch after spending the past match on the bench while Hakan Calhanoglu will likely take the midfield spot Matias Vecino started in on Tuesday. Correa could give Dzeko a much needed rest as well.
2-1 (H) - 7/4/2021
0-3 (A) - 28/11/2020
Predicted Starting XIs
Prediction: Sassuolo 1-3 Inter
This team has shown they can respond to down performances. Expect them to show this again on Saturday. Sassuolo’s attack is strong but their defense can be leaky, as was shown last season when Inter won this matchup 3-0 at the Mapei. Saturday’s affair may be similar to that one, but with a goal from one of Sassuolo’s quick wingers. Inter should be comfortable with goals from Lautaro, Correa, and Barella.