Inter boss Roberto Mancini has hinted that he may use the final clash of the Serie A season with Sassuolo to blood several of the club’s younger players.
The visitors are destined to finish fourth regardless of the result at the Stadio Citta Del Tricolore, providing Mancini with a perfect opportunity to experiment.
Sassuolo, meanwhile, would seal a Europa League place with victory and even a draw would suffice for the hosts if seventh-placed Milan fail to beat Roma and lose the Coppa Italia final.
“It’s important to let the young players play because we have to analyse whether these youngsters can come up to the first-team squad,” said Mancini.
“They’re quality young players and we need to see how they get on in match situations.”
Mancini went on to express his sympathy for the club’s supporters who have witnessed their side fade after a blistering start to the campaign and ultimately miss out on a Champions League berth for a fifth consecutive season.
“We’re in good company in the Europa League,” he said. “Lots of teams have missed out on the Champions League.
“There are lots of clubs investing millions of euros to build teams now and everyone wants to get back there.
“No fan is going to be happy when they believe the side can win but they lose.
“I always set out determined to aim for the top, but things turn out differently over the course of a season.
“I’ll speak to the president about what we can and should do.
“The team has a good foundation we can work with to improve this season’s finish.”
Inter are set to be without suspended duo Samir Handanovic and Ivan Perisic, along with injured skipper Manuel Icardi (thigh) for the trip to Emilia-Romagna, but Colombian defender Jeison Murillo returns from his ban and Serbian midfielder Adem Ljajic should be fit enough to claim a place on the bench.
Sassuolo head into the game looking to secure a fourth consecutive win and complete the double over Inter having won 1-0 at the San Siro in January.
But boss Eusebio Di Francesco will have to make do without suspended joint-top-scorer Domenico Berardi, along with injured duo Karim Laribi (hamstring) and Emanuele Terranova (knee).
Key Opta Facts:
– Sassuolo have won their last two Serie A meetings against Inter, after losing the previous three.
– Inter are the team to have scored the most Serie A goals against Sassuolo: 16, 14 of which came in just two games.
– Sassuolo have enjoyed three consecutive league wins – last season they took three points from each of their last four Serie A match-days.
– The last eight Sassuolo goals in the league have been netted by eight different goalscorers, six of them born from 1991 onwards.