Sassuolo vs Inter Preview and Lineups – Serie A Round 9

Saturday’s Serie A action gets underway at Sassuolo’s Mapei Stadium as the resurgent Neroverdi take on Scudetto hopefuls Inter. Following a mammoth 1-0 home win over Barcelona in midweek Champions League action, the Nerazzurri will be out to put their domestic affairs in order.

Despite losing significant first-team stars Gianluca Scamacca and Giacomo Raspadori over the summer, Alessio Dionisi’s men are still genuine candidates to clinch a third top-half Serie A finish in four seasons. It looks like Sassuolo have left a troublesome six-game start to the season firmly behind (W1, D3, L2), winning their last two league matches via an aggregate score of 6-0. 

In last weekend’s historic fixture, which saw the first-ever instance of a woman refereeing a Serie A contest, Sassuolo equalled the club’s joint-biggest win by hammering Salernitana 5-0 at home. Inspired by their most impressive performance this season, the Neroverdi will continue their top-six push at long odds against an unpredictable Inter side. 

Only three days since slumping to a morale-damaging 2-1 home league defeat to Jose Mourinho’s Roma, last season’s Serie A runners-up took down new-look Barcelona in the blockbuster Champions League showdown. Hakan Calhanoglu found the net from the edge of the box with the last kick of the first half to hand Simone Inzaghi’s team an all-important win over fellow Group C runner-up hopefuls. 

Stationed in the so-called ‘group of death,’ Inter are now three points clear of third-placed Barcelona and will take a trip to the Spotify Camp Nou next week in high spirits. That’s unless Sassuolo don’t dampen their enthusiasm come Saturday as the Nerazzurri aim to find their feet in Serie A following a sluggish eight-game start (W4, L4). 

Match Preview


There’s a piece of history up for grabs as Sassuolo could record three successive Serie A victories without conceding for the first time. For years, Dionisi’s men have been one of the most vulnerable defensive squads in Italy’s top flight, yet that trend has changed this season. Going into this round, the Neroverdi have registered five shutouts from eight league matches, more than any other side in the division. 

While you’d be forgiven for expecting Dionisi’s porous backline to capitulate against the likes of Lautaro Martinez and Edin Dzeko, that might not necessarily be the case. Sassuolo claimed a stunning 2-0 win at Giuseppe Meazza in their most recent Serie A clash against Inter, suggesting another clean sheet could well be on the cards. 

Scoring should not be a problem for Sassuolo, considering they’ve been on the scoresheet in five of their last six top-flight meetings with the Nerazzurri. Intricately, Inter loanee Andrea Pinamonti will lead the line for Dionisi’s men. After netting from the spot in last weekend’s demolition of Salernitana, he will be looking to score in back-to-back Serie A appearances for Sassuolo for the first time.


Inter defied their underdog status to dispatch Barcelona on Tuesday, but their recent showings in Serie A have been far from inspiring. Inzaghi’s men have lost their last two league fixtures despite breaking the deadlock on each occasion and could suffer three top-flight defeats on the spin for the first time since May 2017. 

Keen to avoid such a scenario, Inzaghi will have to teach his men how to hold onto the lead once they grab it. You don’t have to look beyond the fact Inter have dropped more points from leading positions (nine) than any other Serie A this season to understand the extent of the problem the ex-Lazio boss has to handle. But the visitors’ issues stretch far beyond their defensive woes. 

A lack of character or inability to bounce back, for that matter, has seen Inter lose all four league games in which they have gone down in the score this term. So they will be desperate to draw first blood, and who better than Dzeko to lead the charge? The Bosnian forward has tallied six Serie A goals against Sassuolo, four of which have come at Mapei.

Sassuolo vs Inter Potential Line-ups

Sassuolo (4-3-3): Andrea Consigli; Jeremy Toljan, Martin Erlic, Gian Marco Ferrari, Rogerio; Davide Frattesi, Maxime Lopez, Kristian Thorstvedt; Amrand Lauriente, Andrea Pinamonti, Giorgos Kyriakopoulos. 

Inter (3-5-2): Samir Handanovic; Milan Skriniar, Stefan de Vrij, Alessandro Bastoni; Denzel Dumfries, Nicolo Barella, Roberto Gagliardini, Hakan Calhanoglu, Federico Dimarco; Lautaro Martinez, Edin Dzeko.