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Oct 17, 2021 at 2pm UK
Destro (27'), Vasquez (90')
Biraschi (35'), Destro (72'), Sturaro (90+3')
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Scamacca (17', 20')
Frattesi (32'), Chiriches (36'), Harroui (82'), Toljan (88')

Preview: Genoa vs. Sassuolo - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Genoa vs. Sassuolo - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Serie A clash between Genoa and Sassuolo, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Separated by two points and two places in the Serie A standings, Genoa and Sassuolo return to league action on Sunday, at Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

Both sides have struggled to pick up wins this season and sit uncomfortably close to the relegation zone, having been beaten again just before the international break.

Match preview

Time could be running out for Genoa coach Davide Ballardini to keep his job as leader of the Grifone, as the new owners of Italy's oldest club have reportedly been considering the 57-year-old's position following just one win in five league games.

Having previously conceded a late goal to draw 3-3 with Hellas Verona, their last outing before Serie A was paused came away to promoted Salernitana, in a fixture the Ligurian side were expected to collect maximum points from.

The afternoon began badly at Stadio Arechi, when Genoa lost striker Mattia Destro to injury during the warm-up, and was soured further when the hosts took a 1-0 lead through Milan Djuric's second-half header - an advantage they would never relinquish.

Following that latest setback, only troubled Spezia have conceded more goals than the Grifone this term, including seven headed strikes - more than any other team throughout the top five European leagues.

Therefore, Ballardini is under pressure to prove his fourth spell in charge at the club should not be halted in a similar manner to his three previous stints, and Sunday's home game against a Sassuolo side in transition represents a chance to start turning things around.

Precedent is not in Genoa's favour though, as they have lost each of their last three league matches against the Neroverdi by an aggregate score of 9-2, including a crushing 5-0 defeat in July 2020.

Following a change of manager and the departure of a faithful fixture in their forward line this summer, Sassuolo have so far fared little better than their weekend hosts, having won just twice in the league to date.

In fact, they have tasted victory just once since the opening day, after their most recent outing - against champions Inter - saw them surrender a lead in the second half to lose 2-1 on home soil.

Sitting 14th ahead of the weekend, Alessio Dionisi's men have found scoring more challenging since the departure of veteran frontman Francesco Caputo, who combined so well with star striker Domenico Berardi when fit and able to do so.

Compared to their lightning start to the 2020-21 campaign, in which they briefly flirted with the European places before finishing a commendable eighth, Sassuolo have been beaten in four of their last five Serie A games: the same number of losses as in their previous 19.

Rumours of forthcoming departures for both Berardi and his Italy international colleague Giacomo Raspadori - a prized academy product, who came through the ranks at the Emilian club - may not come to fruition this winter, but if they are to earn big moves in the summer, both will need to increase their penalty area productivity.

While the former has now started to purr after a sluggish start to the campaign and will be seeking to find the net in four straight games for the first time this Sunday, on his 50th appearance for the Neroverdi, young Raspadori is expected to start adding to a modest tally of nine Serie A goals - three of which have come against Genoa.

Genoa Serie A form:
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • L

Genoa form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • L

Sassuolo Serie A form:
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L

Sassuolo form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L

Team News

Sassuolo travel to Liguria with an almost fully fit squad, leaving coach Alessio Dionisi in the enviable position of choosing from a strong hand of attacking options. Having been out of favour recently, Hamed Traore will hope to be preferred to either Jeremie Boga or Filip Djuricic in one of the supporting roles for the main striker.

Gianluca Scamacca has found opportunities scarce since returning from a loan spell at Genoa last season, but will be keen to tackle his former teammates alongside international teammate Giacomo Raspadori.

Long-term injury victim Filippo Romagna is still sidelined as he recovers from a serious knee injury, alongside Pedro Obiang, who was diagnosed with a heart condition last month and faces an uncertain future.

The hosts, meanwhile, are set to be without summer signing Nikola Maksimovic in central defence, as the Serbia international has sustained a thigh injury. He joins a growing list of back-line absentees for Genoa, as Mattia Bani and Zinho Vanheusden are also doubtful for Sassuolo's visit.

Therefore, veteran Andrea Masiello is on standby to feature and Mexican youngster Johan Vasquez - untried in European football - may also be involved.

On the plus side for the Grifone, centre-forward Mattia Destro is fully fit after his late withdrawal from their last outing a fortnight ago, and the former Roma man should start with Goran Pandev up front.

Genoa possible starting lineup:
Sirigu; Sabelli, Vasquez, Biraschi, Criscito; Badelj, Toure, Rovella, Fares; Pandev, Destro

Sassuolo possible starting lineup:
Consigli; Toljan, Chiriches, Ferrari, Rogerio; Frattesi, Lopez; Berardi, Djuricic, Raspadori; Scamacca

We say: Genoa 1-1 Sassuolo

While Genoa have started in familiar fashion - leaking goal after goal - their visitors have lost some of their offensive cohesion this term, so may not be best placed to exploit the Grifone's weaknesses, recently exacerbated by a growing injury list.

For that reason, the spoils are set to be shared at Marassi, which suits neither side but reflects their current limitations.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data

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