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Oct 2, 2021 at 7.45pm UK
Inter MilanInter Milan
Berardi (22' pen.)
Muldur (64'), Lopez (70'), Consigli (76'), Raspadori (80')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Dzeko (58'), Martinez (78' pen.)
Inzaghi (37'), Perisic (67'), Barella (70')

Preview: Sassuolo vs. Inter Milan - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Sassuolo vs. Inter Milan - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Serie A clash between Sassuolo and Inter Milan, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Still unbeaten in Serie A, on Saturday evening Scudetto-holders Inter Milan meet mid-table Sassuolo at the Mapei Stadium.

While the Nerazzurri have adapted to life under Simone Inzaghi with the minimum of fuss, their hosts are still coming to terms with their own change of leadership and have won just twice in the league this term.

Match preview

In perhaps the best game of an eventful Serie A season so far, there was barely time to draw breath at San Siro last Saturday, as Inter and local rivals Atalanta played out a thrilling, incident-packed draw.

As the action switched from end to end, both Lautaro Martinez and the visitors' irrepressible hotshot Ruslan Malinovskyi fired home memorable goals, with the game ultimately finishing 2-2 after a late Atalanta 'winner' was ruled out by the VAR.

Though their failure to win cost the Nerazzurri second place in the standings to city rivals Milan, it was a point well-earned in the final analysis and - followed by a goalless Champions League draw with Shakhtar Donetsk in midweek - keeps them ticking over approaching the next international break.

Despite their rare blank in Europe - a second successive group game without scoring a goal - in the league, Inter are only the second side to score 20 or more times in the first six matches of a season since the turn of the century.

Not only that, but Inzaghi's team - spearheaded by Martinez and summer signing Edin Dzeko - have now scored two or more goals in each of their last 11 league games; a run which started under the current coach's predecessor Antonio Conte.

In fact, never in their long and illustrious Serie A history have Inter managed to achieve that feat in 12 consecutive matches, so the current team can take a little slice of club history home with them should they prise open the Sassuolo defence more than once on Saturday evening.

Though they have historically managed to share the spoils with Inter at their Emilian headquarters, Sassuolo have lost both of their last two matches there against their more renowned rivals - a 4-3 thriller in 2019 and 3-0 defeat in November of last year.

Therefore, they will be even more trepidatious about the champions' visit this weekend, having got off to a sluggish start in Serie A.

The Neroverdi suffered a third successive league loss when they were beaten 2-1 away at Atalanta in mid-September, but have at least now claimed their first win since the opening day - with victory over basement club Salernitana last time out.

Domenico Berardi's second-half strike saw last season's eighth-placed finishers over the line against the top-flight new boys, and the Euro 2020 winner will be integral to any hopes of maintaining their hard-earned status as regular European contenders over the past few years.

The much-admired forward may also have a significant role to play on Saturday too, as Sassuolo's star man has been involved in 10 goals during his last 10 league games against sides in the top three of the table - with seven goals and three assists.

Sitting 12th ahead of the weekend, Alessio Dionisi's men have proved far less profitable in terms of both goals and points at this stage of the campaign compared to their electric start in 2020-21, under his popular predecessor Roberto De Zerbi - who incidentally masterminded Shakhtar's draw with Inter on Tuesday.

Indeed, under either manager, the Emilians have also failed to keep back-to-back clean sheets since December 2020; with their next opponents unlikely to falter in and around the box.

The ex-Empoli boss, then, will hope for his other forwards to help Berardi out in the final third if they are to prevent a third straight Inter win on their home turf this weekend.

Sassuolo Serie A form:
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W

Sassuolo form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W

Inter Milan Serie A form:
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • D

Inter Milan form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D

Team News

Inter had veteran midfielder Arturo Vidal back on the bench in midweek, while Joaquin Correa also made an appearance during the second half and could feature again on Saturday.

Though Stefano Sensi remains a doubt due to injury, Simone Inzaghi has no other serious injury concerns to deal with and could name a similar side to that which started versus Atalanta last week.

Therefore, Edin Dzeko is again set to join Lautaro Martinez in a front two, while Ivan Perisic and Matteo Darmian should operate as wing-backs in Inzaghi's customary 3-5-2. Denzel Dumfries, Federico Dimarco and Matias Vecino, however, are among those pushing for a start.

Meanwhile, Sassuolo approach their second successive match at the Mapei Stadium with very few absences of their own.

Alessio Dionisi did see first-choice goalkeeper Andrea Consigli train separately from the main group on Thursday, as he aims to recover from a knock, but only long-term injury victims Filippo Romagna (knee) and Nicolas Schiappacasse (ACL) are definitely sidelined, alongside Pedro Obiang, who was recently diagnosed with a heart condition.

Up front for the hosts, Domenico Berardi will continue on the right wing, with Jeremie Boga favourite to take up the opposite flank and Giacomo Raspadori or Gianluca Scamacca starting at centre-forward.

Sassuolo possible starting lineup:
Consigli; Muldur, Chiriches, Ferrari, Kyriakopoulos; Magnanelli, Frattesi, Lopez; Berardi, Raspadori, Boga

Inter Milan possible starting lineup:
Handanovic; Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni; Darmian, Barella, Brozovic, Calhanoglu, Perisic; Martinez, Dzeko

We say: Sassuolo 1-2 Inter Milan

While Sassuolo have had the benefit of a week's rest and preparation, their visitors have been to Ukraine and back in the past few days and may feel a little fatigue early on in the game.

However, Inter can afford to leave it until late to seal the points, as they boast several attacking options that can pierce the Neroverdi rearguard with the sort of razor-sharp move that brought about Lautaro Martinez's wonderful opener last weekend.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data

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