Mapei Stadium – Citta del Tricolore is the venue where midfielder Sassuolo and fourth-placed Juventus go head-to-head in a respectable Serie A game. An exciting duel in Reggio Emilia rounds off the 34th match day in Italy’s top division.
Despite blowing hot and cold in their last five league games (S2, D1, L2), Sassuolo are on course to place in the first half for the third straight season in Serie A. Alessio Dionisi’s men have been one of the most entertaining sides this Serie A season, largely thanks to a relatively inexperienced squad led by highly-rated youngster Hamed Traore.
On the other hand, Juventus defeated Fiorentina 2-0 in the midweek Coppa Italia to reach the grand final and stay in the title race. Aside from a decent Coppa Italia season, this season has been a thoroughly disappointing one for the record Italian champions.
Since Sassuolo shared victories with Salernitana in a goal-friendly 2-2 draw in mid-March, wins and losses have alternated in the last four league games (S2, L2). Three of those four results (win/loss) yielded a narrow one-goal lead, underscoring the potential for a close, hard-fought affair.
Still, high scores have been a common theme in Sassuolo’s recent Serie A games. Before the overwhelming 1-0 defeat at relegated Cagliari last time out, both teams had scored goals in games that have totaled more than three goals in six consecutive league games, including the last four at Mapei.
Dionisi’s men have turned their hometown into a fortress. On this matchday, Sassuolo have won three consecutive Serie A games at Mapei and could record four wins from impact for the first time in their history in the top flight. Also, they have only lost two league home games all season against teams that were better placed than them in the standings (win 3, draw 2).
Juventus needed Dusan Vlahovic’s late heroics to salvage a point in their uneventful 1-1 home draw against midfielder Bologna last time out. Massimiliano Allegri’s men have struggled with inconsistent performances of late, as shown by their mediocre form in Serie A (S1, D1, L1).
However, Vlahovic and company have won their last three top flight games away and could extend their winning streak to four for the first time since February 2019. While Juve’s top scorer this season has been the elephant in the room, their recent performance in front of goal has been admirable.
Juventus have scored more than 2 goals in their last three Serie A games. But a 2-1 win at Cagliari in their latest league trip means Allegri’s weak defense has capitulated in four straight Serie A games on hostile soil, casting doubt on their ability to contain Sassuolo’s free-kick attack.
Pedro Obiang and Jeremy Toljan are unavailable in the Sassuolo camp, while Abdou Harroui could come on the bench after recovering from a minor physical problem. After missing a couple of games through injury, outstanding striker Domenico Berardi was able to start the game.
Juventus are unable to engage the services of Arthur, Manuel Locatelli and Weston McKennie, Allegri revealed during the press. Speak with Juventus websiteexperienced tactician Adrien Rabiot, Danilo and Denis Zakaria opened up the opportunity to make the cut.
Sassuolo Potential starting XI (4-2-3-1): Andrea Consigli; Ruan Tressoldi, Vlad Chiriches, Gian Marco Ferrari, Giorgos Kyriakopoulos; Francesco Magnanelli, Maxime Lopez; Domenico Berardi, Giacomo Raspadori, Hamed Traore; Gianluca Scamacca.
Potential Juventus starting XI (4-4-2): Wojciech Szczesny; Juan Cuadrado, Leonardo Bonucci, Matthijs de Ligt, Alex Sandro; Federico Bernardeschi, Denis Zakaria, Adrien Rabiot, Luca Pellegrini; Paulo Dybala, Dusan Vlahovic.
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