Report Suggests Inter Will Most Likely Acquire Nemanja Matic In January

Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic appears to be the most likely acquisition in January, according to a report from Italian media outlet TuttoMercatoWeb today, with the other options for midfield being very expensive.

The 31-year-old Serbian midfielder, whose contract is set to expire with the Red Devils next summer, has previously played under Inter coach Antonio Conte at Chelsea, with the duo still maintaining a positive relationship. The report highlights how Inter haven’t finalised anything for the upcoming transfer window yet, but Matic is the clear option for the Nerazzurri.

Furthermore, the report highlights the other possible names of Inter’s transfer target list, such as Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Ivan Rakitic and Sandro Tonali. Rakitic is the only player in the list that could possibly move in January, with the other two not likely to leave their respective clubs until next summer.

Despite the injury to former Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez, the report continues, the Nerazzurri currently have no plans of acquiring another forward player, with the 30-year-old Chilean set to return at the end of January.

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Thomas Berthold: “This Year Napoli & Inter Can Create Problems For Juventus”

Former Verona and Roma defender Thomas Berthold gave an interview in today’s paper edition of the Naples based newspaper Il Mattino, where he highlighted Inter as a challenger for the Scudetto this season.

“Where can Napoli go? I like them very much and I think that, like Inter, they can create problems for Juve this year.”

He then gave his opinion on the Italian national team, guided by former Inter coach Roberto Mancini.

“Italy has a great tradition when it comes to the final stages of a big tournament like the European Championships. Germany, on the other hand, I don’t think are one of the favourites because they lack experience and balance.”

Napoli are currently fourth in the league, five points behind the Nerazzurri and six points behind league leaders Juventus. Carlo Ancelotti’s squad will look to compete with both Inter and Juve for the league title this season. They face RB Salzburg in the Champions League next week, the day after Inter face Borussia Dortmund.

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Napoli President De Laurentiis: “My Uncle Dino Supported Inter, Whilst My Dad & I Support Napoli”

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis gave an interview in today’s paper edition of the Naples based newspaper Il Mattino, revealing that his uncle Dino De Laurentiis supported Inter.

“I don’t know what to tell you about the team anymore, we hope to win against Verona and then we’ll talk about it. Cinema and football are my life, even Uncle Dino was a great fan, but he had a weakness for Inter. While Dad pushed me strongly to cheer for Napoli: affectionate and indelible memories of years ago, when we watched the matches together on television in Los Angeles.”

He added that his uncle, who produced films such as King Kong and La Strada, was the cause of a small division in the family.

“It was a continuous war, uncle supporting Inter, me and Dad for Napoli. Will I be in the stands for the game against Verona? Some previous commitments don’t allow me to. I’m going to Capri, I’ve discovered that lately it brings me more luck to stay on the island in front of the TV, so I repeat this ritual because the weather is good and it’s worth spending another day at the Faraglioni.”

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Cagliari Coach Rolando Maran: “We Copied Inter’s Formation When We Played Them”

Cagliari coach Rolando Maran spoke to gathered reporters in a press conference today, with Italian media outlet TuttoMercatoWeb in attendance, discussing the 3-5-2 formation used in the club’s 2-1 defeat to Inter earlier this season.

“We are working to improve, against Inter we mirrored them. In the other matches we organised ourselves in a different way, also thanks to the squad that was built to allow us to do this: I would say that the formation counts for little, they are more tactical devices. For us it’s an advantage, more than a disadvantage.”

He also discussed whether former Roma and Inter midfielder Radja Nainggolan would play.

“He did his job in Rome, with some showings of a top player. It’s obvious that we expect a lot from him, because he’s a superior player.”

The Sardinian side are currently sixth in the league after seven games, winning three, drawing two and losing two.

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Ex-Inter Primavera Coach Fulvio Pea: “Inter Are An Economically Strong Club”

Former Inter Primavera coach Fulvio Pea spoke exclusively to Italian media outlet Passioneinter.com today, discussing his move to China and his thoughts about tomorrow’s game between Sassuolo and Inter.

First, he discussed his experiences in China coaching the Jiangsu Suning youth squad.

“It is an experience that is proving fascinating, both for the type of work and for the eastern culture. An experience that is certainly positive as well as formative.”

Jiangsu Suning share the same owners as Inter, and Pea was positive about their projects across football.

“It’s a team that’s constantly evolving and growing. Suning are a very important company and the projects they are creating in football are ambitious.”

Pea believed that there was more competition for the title this year.

“I think that if there’s more competition this season, as you say, it’s essentially Inter, the main rival of Juventus in the Scudetto race. We’ll see.”

The Italian coach then touched on whether he thought Sassuolo could cause an upset tomorrow.

“Certainly, unpredictability is what makes football a wonderful game. On paper, however, and not just as a result of the points earned by the two teams in the standings so far, one of the two teams certainly start out favoured.”

He spoke of the differences he’s seen in Inter over the last 19 years.

“I sincerely believe that today, even more than yesterday if we want, are an economically strong squad that can aim for important results. If this force is combined with method and strategy, everything becomes easier.”

Finally, Pea spoke about which youngster that he trained surprised him the most.

“Biraghi. I’m surprised because he had the constancy and determination of a true champion. And today he reaps the fruits of his sacrifices. Which were really many in his case!”

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Preview – Sassuolo Vs Inter: Finding Winning Ways

Having finally tasted defeat in two consecutive matches, Inter look to return to winning ways in a traditionally difficult match against Sassuolo. Match tomorrow 12.30 CET.

There are many narratives to draw upon at this juncture in the season and at this match in particular. The most commonly referred to is that the traditionally mentally fragile Inter has suffered a pair of losses in a row (their first in the season) and now look to find a win in a notoriously difficult fixture. One must also make reference to the fact that Inter and the league’s breakout star has been ex-Neroverdi Stefano Sensi, who continue to be out due to his thigh injury. Inter have not done well without Sensi.

It will be interesting to see if Antonio Conte has worked on a midfield plan B during the international break. The lack of depth in Marcelo Brozovic and Sensi’s position is the most glaring weakness in Inter’s squad and one would imagine that Conte will have been scheming on trying to bridge the gap in quality.

Sassuolo have had a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde season so far. Roberto De Zerbi’s all out attack tactics have meant that Sassuolo have either won big or lost big. Traditionally Sassuolo have done very well against the Nerazzurri but it is rumoured that a big motivator had been owner Giorgio Squinzi’s anti-Inter disposition. Squinzi’s passing earlier this month may be the motivator the squad needs to put up a fight against the visitors or could mark the end of an era with Inter finally getting the desired result.

Both managers have clear ideas and tactics and so surprises will be few in the match. What will count will probably be desire to win and effort.

Team News

The international break has not been kind to Inter; Conte lost both Alexis Sanchez and Danilo D’Ambrosio to injuries and the pair will not feature in the squad for the match. Possibly even more challenging will be the fact that Stefano Sensi is still unfit and probably won’t feature in the squad selection.

Probable line-up (3-5-2): Handanovic (C); Godin, DiVrij, Skriniar; Candreva, Gagliardini, Brozovic, Barella, Asamoah; Lautaro, Lukaku.

Stats

Last Season: Sassuolo 1 – 0 Inter.

Last 10 Head to Head: To call this a trap game would be a huge disservice to understatement and the phrase itself. Over the last ten matches Sassuolo have managed to beat Inter an eye-watering seven times with just two wins for Inter. Possibly more alarmingly is the fact that over the last five matches, Inter have lost four times and draw once.

Keep an Eye on

Roberto Gagliardini: The ex-Atalanta midfield sensation has seen his development plateau over the last few seasons. With Sensi still injured, Gags will be entrusted to fill in for the season’s breakout star in a role that has been tricky for all who tried to step in previously.

Officials

Referee: Piero Giacomelli.

Assistants: Longo and Bottegoni.

Fourth Official: Ghersini.

VAR Assistants: Mazzoleni and Fiorito.

Prediction & Concluding Remarks

Prediction & scorers: Sassuolo 2-3 Inter with Berardi scoring against the Nerazzurri being as sure as death and taxes. Expect Lukaku and Lautaro to win it for Inter.

Concluding remarks: It seems like every match can be labelled as Conte’s real test as Inter manager, but he really wants to eliminate the “Pazza” adjective from the Inter dictionary, bouncing back from a pair of losses against a traditionally tricky opponent will be a great place to demonstrate this.

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Almost 10,000 Inter Fans Expected For Clash Away Against Sassuolo

Inter have sold over 9700 tickets in the away section of Sassuolo’s Mapei Stadium for their game against the Neroverdi tomorrow, according to a report from today’s paper edition of the Turin based newspaper Tuttosport.

The report highlights the high amount of Inter fans in Reggio Emilia, who have purchased 9771 tickets for tomorrow’s league clash. The Nerazzurri fans are hoping for a victory following their disappointing 2-1 defeat to Juventus before the international break.

The Derby d’Italia loss against the Bianconeri saw Inter drop to second place in the league table, one point behind the Turin based side. A win against Sassuolo is vital if they are to keep up the pressure on the Bianconeri, a fact that coach Antonio Conte knows well.

The Nerazzurri are winless against the Neroverdi in their last five league meetings, drawing one and losing four. However, the arrival of Conte as well as big names like Romelu Lukaku and Diego Godin may shift the momentum to the Nerazzurri.

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Sassuolo Coach Roberto De Zerbi: “We Have Done Well In The Past Against Inter, But The Respect Is The Same”

Sassuolo coach Roberto De Zerbi spoke to gathered reporters at a press conference today on the eve of the Neroverdi’s game against Inter.

“They were special weeks. We know what happened to our president and we are very sorry. We’ve gotten off to a good start, we’ve trained well. There was a break, we return to the pitch after many days. We lost some players due to physical problems and we’re ready to play. The last two defeats burn, we want to make up for it, we want to be the team we saw against Sampdoria and SPAL again.”

The 40-year-old Italian coach then discussed the difficulty of facing the Nerazzurri.

“They’re a strong team and they have proved it against Barcelona and Juventus. This championship is different, it’s balanced. The level of difficulty of the matches is high, there are no easy matches, and this is demonstrated by the teams that have climbed from Serie B, who have courage, play. Meeting Inter is clearly different but we would not have been less careful in preparing for another team.”

De Zerbi touched on the injuries currently plaguing the squad.

“Pegolo, who was hurt after Atalanta, and Ferrari, who was already in doubt after Brescia. But also, Chiriches, Mazzitelli, Bourabia. The team, however, is strong beyond the shortcomings, we have a wide range. The other teams also have injuries. I’m sorry because I prefer to make choices of the full squad. Sometimes I have to make them out of necessity. Chiriches will stay out for a long time, Ferrari has also been hurt and we add to Rogerio who has already been out for a long time.”

He then spoke of Sassuolo’s impressive form against Inter in the recent past.

“We know that we have often done well against them, but the respect of the opponent remains intact. I don’t think we have pressure because one should always have pressure. The pressures must be there even after the victories. We know who we are well, in the sense that we have changed so much this year. We know that a lot of players have arrived at the training camp and the path to find a final place is not easy and immediate but we know that the team is strong and can play an important role in the league, I do not know which, but on the strength of the team I have no doubts and a poor start does not change my mind.”

De Zerbi also discussed what kind of game Sassuolo would play against Inter tomorrow.

“We don’t determine the attitude of Inter, just as we determine our own. I expect Inter to be convinced that they’re playing well and playing the game, but we have to think about what we have to do. We’re inferior to Inter but not always those who are inferior have the worst.”

Finally, the Sassuolo coach discussed any worries about tomorrow’s game.

“I’m worried rightly. I don’t think we were too young in these games. There were young players, probably a lot of new ones together. This is Sassuolo 2.0, it can’t be the continuation of last year. It’s different but always keeping the same idea. We need to improve from the outset in terms of our approach. I’ll put it a little on the mental side.”

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