Inter 7-0 Sassuolo (September 2014)
Back before Sassuolo found how to pull a number on their opponents, many a vicious result befell them. Beaten 7-0 by Inter for the second time in 12 months, I Neroverdi were pummelled by a ruthless attacking display.
The star of the show was Mauro Icardi, who notched up a 53 minute hat-trick. There was also a double for former ?Southampton man Dani Osvaldo, who notably hung up boots at age 31, due to his unending love of beer and barbecues.
It turned out to be a more unsuccessful season for the winners however, as Inter’s eighth place finish in ?Serie A left them out of European competition completely.
Sassuolo recovered from their beating to end up in a respectable 12th, and also got their revenge in the return game by defeating Inter 3-1.
Many will say that pre-season matches mean absolutely nothing when the real campaign gets up and going, but it’s still a good way of seeing how new teammates are gelling.
Inter started off with a penalty shoot-out defeat to ?Chelsea in Nice, before new signing Lautaro Martinez stepped up. The young Argentinian’s goals saw I Nerazurri defeat both Lyon and ?Atletico Madrid 1-0.
As for the home side, Sassuolo have already been in competitive action, sparring in the Coppa Italia third round.
Comfortably defeating lower league opponent Ternana 5-1, recent recruit Kevin Prince Boateng found himself on the score sheet.
Sassuolo come into the game with near no injuries. It’s likely new centre back Mauricio Lemos will recover from a knock, meaning the only miss is Federico Peluso.
As previously mentioned, Kevin Prince Boateng has returned to Serie A and will probably start this match as I Neroverdi’s false nine.
Inter come into this match with a few injury worries and some fitness doubts. However, they should most definitely be able to field a very strong team.
Radja Nainggolan is still suffering with a thigh injury so should miss out, whereas defender Milan Skriniar will face a fitness test to see if he’s available to play.
Whether new signing Balde Keita’s ready to go is still up in the air, but he has been included in Inter’s squad list.
Sime Vrsaljko, Ivan Perisic and Marcelo Brozovic were all part of Croatia’s squad that reached the World Cup final, with fitness an issue after little to no recovery time.
However, Kwadwo Asamoah, Lautaro Martinez, Stefan De Vrij and Matteo Politano should all be ready for competitive debuts if called on by coach Luciano Spalletti.
Juventus have dominated Italian football for the last seven years and if Inter think they can challenge for the Scudetto, this type of match needs to be won. New additions a plenty, it may take a little while for everybody to develop into a truly cohesive unit on the field.
However, many of Spalletti’s signings have Serie A experience, so should be used to what games like these entail.
In Lautaro Martinez and Mauro Icardi, I Nerazzurri may have Argentina’s next two superstar forwards. Bringing in the wisdom of Kwadwo Asamoah and Stefan de Vrij should also add solidity at the back.
Although Sassuolo have had the better of them in recent years, it seems hard to see how this new look Internazionale side will make any mistake in their opener.
Prediction: Sassuolo 1-3 Inter