Inter Milan will seek to strengthen their position in the Serie A top four when they welcome Sassuolo to the Giuseppe Meazza on Saturday.

Inter Milan will be keen to hand arch-rivals AC Milan another blow in their race for a top-four finish when they welcome Sassuolo to the Giuseppe Meazza on Saturday night.

The Nerazzurri have been on a roll lately, clinching victory in their last four Serie A matches and putting one foot in the UEFA Champions League final. With a Coppa Italia final also in the bag, Inter fans have every reason to be excited.

Meanwhile, their cross-town rivals AC Milan are hot on their heels in the race for the coveted fourth spot in the league, making this match a crucial one for Inter. However, they cannot afford to take their opponents lightly. Sassuolo may be languishing in the 14th spot, but they have been known to cause upsets and have given Inter a tough time in the past.

As the season draws to a close, every point counts for both teams. Inter hold a slim two-point lead over AC Milan, but they are also within touching distance of second place. Can they continue their winning streak and climb up the table? It appears promising as long as they don’t shoot themselves in the foot.

The reverse fixture saw Inter edge out Sassuolo 2-1, thanks to a brace from Edin Dzeko. The home side will be hoping to replicate that result, but they cannot afford to let their guard down. With the second leg of the Champions League semi-final looming, manager Simone Inzaghi will need to carefully manage his squad and avoid any slip-ups that could jeopardise their momentum.

The Hard Tackle takes a look at how both sides could line up on the night and what tactics they might employ.

Team News & Tactics

Inter Milan

Simone Inzaghi is very likely to rotate his squad given the importance of the games coming up in the next few weeks. However, with a top-four spot far from secure, he is unlikely to swap out his playing XI completely. Star defender Milan Skriniar is still ruled out, while Robin Gosens and Danilo D’Ambrosio are both back in contention. This should give Inzaghi more options this weekend.

One constant is, however, the 3-5-2 formation. Inzaghi appears to be ready to walk over hot coal than shift his tactical nous. However, given the success the club has had in knockout competitions of late, his approach is more than vindicated.

Andre Onana should retain his spot in goal with the trio of Danilo D’Ambrosio, Stefan de Vrij, and Alessandro Bastoni holding the fort in defence. Matteo Darmian is likely to be deployed as a wing-back, with Federico Dimarco retaining his spot on the other flank.

The latter is in line to be taken off around the hour mark should Inter build up a healthy lead. Gosens’ return should certainly aid in that endeavour. Marcelo Brozovic should return to the starting XI in midfield, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan dropping to the bench.

Nicolo Barella and Hakan Calhanoglu will complete the central midfield trio and will be tasked with playing the ball forward when in possession. Inzaghi is likely to rest both Lautaro Martinez and Edin Dzeko, both of who are expected to start against Milan in the second leg.

A fit and firing Romelu Lukaku should return to the lineup and start upfront, with Joaquin Correa in support. The duo now have the opportunity to show Inzaghi what they can do and stake a claim for a larger role in the coming weeks.

Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Onana; D’Ambrosio, De Vrij, Bastoni; Darmian, Barella, Brozovic, Calhanoglu, Dimarco; Correa, Lukaku

Inter Milan vs US Sassuolo Calcio Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats.

US Sassuolo Calcio

The side from Emilia-Romagna have struggled for consistency this season and are languishing in the 14th spot going into Matchday 35. They are, however, within touching distance of a top-eight finish and will certainly take a step in the right direction by defeating Inter Milan.

Inter loanee and star striker Andrea Pinamonti should return from suspension and will be in contention to feature. Sassuolo have no major injuries to be concerned about and can field a fully fit side. A 4-3-3 appears to be the flavour of the day with Andrea Consigli in goal. Martin Erlic and Gian Marco Ferrari should start as the centre-backs, with Jeremy Toljan and Rogerio deployed out wide.

The trio of Davide Frattesi, Maxime Lopez, and Matheus Henrique will form the midfield triad and will have the responsibility to not allow Inter to seize control of the pace of the game. The Italians outnumber the Sassuolo stars in central midfield and the visitors might have to redeploy to a 4-5-1 to avoid getting run over.

Domenico Berardi will be Sassuolo’s main man and is on the verge of becoming just the third player to secure ten or more goals in each of the last four league campaigns. He and Armand Lauriente should act as the wide players, with inter loanee Andrea Pinamonti leading the attack.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Consigli; Toljan, Erlic, Ferrari, Rogerio; Frattesi, Lopez, Henrique; Berardi, Pinamonti, Lauriente

Inter Milan vs US Sassuolo Calcio Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats.

Key Stats

  • Sassuolo have won just one of their last eight Serie A games against Inter Milan.
  • Inter Milan have won just one of their last seven Serie A games against Sassuolo.
  • A win on the night will see Inter Milan win five straight Serie A games on the trot. This will be their best run of results since 2021.
  • Inter Milan have failed to draw a single home game in Serie A in the last 21 attempts. The last time they drew a game at the Giuseppe Meazza was in March 2022 against Fiorentina.
  • A draw on the night will see Sassuolo draw two straight Serie A games for the first time since September 2022.

Player to Watch

Romelu Lukaku

Inter Milan vs US Sassuolo Calcio Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats.
Romelu Lukaku will be fired up for the game. (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

The Belgian ace has rediscovered his scoring touch and appears to be slowly yet steadily getting back to his best. He was benched against AC Milan earlier this week and will be keen to catch Inzaghi’s eye with a solid performance on the night.

Lautaro Martinez is more or less a guaranteed starter against Milan in the second leg and despite Edin Dzeko’s heroics, Lukaku could upstage him with a dominant outing on Saturday. The Belgian possesses pace, power and now appears to have rediscovered his shooting boots. When on form, Sassuolo will find him a difficult player to contain.


Inter Milan 2-0 US Sassuolo Calcio

Inter are a difficult side to stop when the momentum is in their favour and Sassuolo are likely to discover it on Saturday. Flush from a series of good results, the home side will not be lacking confidence. With Lukaku leading the line, the Nerazzurri can be reasonably confident of securing a comfortable win by two goals. 

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