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Jan 16, 2022 at 11.30am UK
Hellas VeronaHellas Verona
Scamacca (54'), Defrel (67')
Kiriakopoulos (59'), Marco Ferrari (85')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Caprari (37'), Barak (44', 57' pen., 90+4')
Depaoli (61'), Ceccherini (65'), Montipo (89'), Kalinic (90+1')

Preview: Sassuolo vs. Hellas Verona - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Separated by only a point in the Serie A standings, mid-table rivals Sassuolo and Hellas Verona meet at the Mapei Stadium on Sunday.

The hosts won handsomely last time out to sneak inside the top half of the table, while after just two wins from their last nine games, their visitors from Veneto have slipped to 13th place.

Match preview

Having lost only one of their last nine league outings - with that defeat coming in the Emilian derby against Bologna just before the winter break - Sassuolo have certainly stabilised of late, after a tricky start to life under Alessio Dionisi.

Appointed in the summer, as successor to the popular Roberto De Zerbi, the ex-Empoli coach oversaw a crushing 5-1 victory against his former club last weekend, as his trio of Italy internationals laid waste to the Tuscan team's defence.

Domenico Berardi, Giacomo Raspadori and Gianluca Scamacca all found the net at Stadio Carlo Castellani, with the latter pair bagging braces as the rampant Neroverdi ran riot.

While such a potent strikeforce has helped Sassuolo record their best ever goals tally at this stage of a top-flight season, Liam Henderson's early equaliser made it 15 games in a row that Dionisi's defence have conceded.

Only four points adrift of sixth-placed Roma, though, in the battle for European places, the Emilians could be tussling with their capital counterparts for access to continental football again this term - much like this time last year.

They will certainly have cause to expect another three points this weekend, having won five of their last six Serie A matches versus Verona - scoring at least twice in the clubs' last four meetings. Indeed, they edged the equivalent fixture at the Mapei Stadium last March and August's reverse at the Bentegodi, both by the same 3-2 scoreline.

After avoiding defeat in all but one match in their previous 10 outings - only losing against Milan at San Siro - Verona have recently gone off the boil, losing four of their last eight in the league.

While Igor Tudor's honeymoon period is now probably over, the Scaligeri still did not expect to come a cropper at home to rock-bottom Salernitana last Sunday, but they succumbed to a side only allowed to continue their campaign after a last-minute change of ownership and suffering from a COVID-19 outbreak.

Despite nine absentees of their own, Verona had still managed to overcome Spezia just a few days before, so the setback of a fourth loss at the Bentegodi this term will have particularly disappointed Tudor.

Nonetheless, only four sides have scored more goals than Hellas in Serie A so far, and a push for European football is not impossible given they remain in striking distance of the top six just after the campaign's halfway stage.

They surely would have accrued more points, to sit above Sunday's hosts in the standings, if only they could address their Achilles' heel: before heading to Emilia-Romagna this weekend, the Gialloblu have conceded goals at a rate of nearly two per game when on the road.

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

Hellas Verona Serie A form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L

Hellas Verona form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L

Team News

Sassuolo will be without their captain and attacking talisman Domenico Berardi on Sunday afternoon, as he must serve a suspension for yellow card accumulation.

In his absence, French forward Gregoire Defrel is likely to join Giacomo Raspadori (on six goals) and Gianluca Scamacca (eight), who have already equalled their tallies of last season. Indeed, since December, no player has scored more times in Serie A than Raspadori's five, while Scamacca has added four goals during that spell.

Filip Djuricic, Hamed Traore and Henrique are among those unavailable to Alessio Dionisi due to injury, while Ivorian winger Jeremie Boga recently signed a deal to join Atalanta following his participation at the Africa Nations Cup.

Due to his late sending off against Salernitana, midfield regular Ivan Ilic will be suspended for Verona this week, allowing Adrien Tameze an opportunity to impress in the engine room. New arrival Fabio Depaoli should feature on the right flank.

The visitors could also have a number of squad members still sidelined by COVID-19 infections, as Daniel Bessa, Bosko Sutalo, Davide Faraoni, Gianluca Frabotta and goalkeeper Lorenzo Montipo are awaiting a negative test in order to return. Martin Hongla is away representing host nation Cameroon at the AFCON, while Pawel Dawidowicz remains out injured for the long term.

Though his recent drought has extended to four games - which pales into comparison with his struggles at Cagliari last term - Giovanni Simeone should start up front, having scored in two of his last three league matches away at Sassuolo.

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

Hellas Verona possible starting lineup:
Pandur; Casale, Gunter, Magnani; Depaoli, Tameze, Veloso, Lazovic; Barak, Caprari; Simeone

We say: Sassuolo 2-1 Hellas Verona

Both Sassuolo (36) and Verona (37) have recorded their respective best goals returns following the first 21 games of a Serie A season, so chances at either end should not be in short supply.

While the home side have too often been unable to convert one point into three, they should do so on this occasion, given their visitors' absences and inability to keep the back door shut.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals 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.Under 3.5:data

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