MILAN – Inter are set to return to the Mapei Stadium after their 4-3 win there last season. At 15:00 CET on Saturday, the Nerazzurri will face Sassuolo on matchday nine of the Serie A season. De Zerbi’s side will go into the game on 18 points in the league following five wins and three draws in their opening eight Serie A fixtures.
Ahead of the match, here are all the facts and figures that you need to know.
The two teams have met 14 times in Serie A, with the Nerazzurri’s record against Sassuolo reading as follows: five wins, two draws, seven defeats.
After suffering four consecutive defeats to Sassuolo in the league, Inter are now unbeaten in three matches against the Neroverdi (W1, D2). Last year, Conte’s men ran out 4-3 winners at the Mapei Stadium thanks to a brace apiece for Lukaku and Lautaro. In the return fixture, the teams played out a 3-3 draw, meaning 13 goals were scored in the two matches last season (seven for Inter, six for Sassuolo).
FUN FACT: NO DRAWS AT THE MAPEI STADIUM
Sassuolo and Inter have never drawn at the Mapei Stadium in Serie A (four Neroverdi wins and three Nerazzurri victories): against no other side have the team from Emilia-Romagna gone longer without playing out at least one draw on home turf (seven matches against Milan too).
GENERAL STATS AND STATE OF PLAY
Sassuolo are one of three sides that are yet to be defeated so far this season: they’ve picked up five wins and drawn three times in their opening eight games. Only once in their history have the Neroverdi gone on a longer unbeaten run in the Italian top flight (eleven between May and September 2015).
Inter have won 15 out of 23 away matches in Serie A TIM with Antonio Conte at the helm (D6, L2), more than any other side since the start of last season. Both teams have tended to come alive late on in matches this campaign: 26% of the goals scored in the last half an hour of play in Serie A this season have been netted by Sassuolo (14) and Inter (eleven). Roma are third in this regard (eight).
With seven goals in his first seven Serie A appearances of the season, Romelu Lukaku is currently third in the league's goalscoring charts. Since the three-points-per-win era began, only two other players have managed to find the net at least seven times in their first seven matches of a Serie A campaign with Inter: Christian Vieri (nine in 2001/02 and eight in 2002/03) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (seven in 2007/08).
Stefano Sensi played 61 matches for Sassuolo in the Italian top flight (five goals), 28 of which came under Roberto De Zerbi. Marcelo Brozovic, meanwhile, made his Serie A debut against the Neroverdi in February 2015.
Antonio Conte has won three matches out of four as a coach against Sassuolo in Serie A, with his teams having scored 14 and conceded seven. Roberto De Zerbi has faced Inter on five occasions in Italy’s top division, with his record reading as follows: one win, two draws, two defeats.