Sassuolo v Bologna – Mapei Stadium – Città del Tricolor at 20:45 GMT +1 at Premier Sports

Sassuolo head coach Roberto De Zerbi said he was “exhausted” after seeing his side play out a fabulously entertaining 2-2 draw with newly-promoted Lecce last weekend. The Neroverdi twice fell behind at the Stadio Via del Mare, only for Jeremy Toljan and Domenico Berardi to earn the guests a share of the spoils.

The Sassuolo boss said, “It was a good game, we created a lot and played well. We conceded two goals due to the quality of our opponents. I am happy with how the game went. Lecce are strong at home, as even Juventus struggled here.” But in truth, had Sassuolo left Apulia pointless, De Zerbi is unlikely to have been so jovial in his post-match dealings with the press.

The Neroverdi were the aggressors throughout the contest and won all the major performance data metrics on the day, reducing Lecce to just 0.40 Expected Goals (xG), whilst carving out plenty of opportunities of their own. Now returning home, Sassuolo will be looking to build with a positive display against Bologna.

Bologna struggling to turn the tide

Bologna boss Sinisa Mihajlovic was diagnosed with leukaemia in July, and spent all of pre-season, plus most of the campaign thus far in hospital undergoing two courses of chemotherapy. Assistant coach Riccardo Orsolini has stepped into the breach, although the Rossoblu are struggling to pick up precious points.

That’s defeat the Emilia-Romagna outfit largely producing eye-catching efforts in 2019/20. Bologna have taken a solitary point from four encounters with the current top four in Serie A despite earning plenty of plaudits for their effort, application and attitude, including last weekend against Inter (1-2).

Mihajlovic’s men find themselves in the bottom-half of the Italian top-flight and only four points above the drop-zone following a run of one triumph in eight (W1-D2-L5), although there have been clear signs throughout the campaign that the Rossoblu are moving in the right direction with a strong underlying process.

Remarkably, Bologna still feature in the top aiz in terms of Expected Goals (xG), xG from open play, plus shots in the box ratio. And should the Rossoblu sustain their current output, a resurgent spell of results shouldn’t be too far away.

Get with the goals

Nevertheless, I’m more inclined to support a goal-heavy game on Friday night with Over 2.5 Goals trading at a kind 1.80. It’s proven a profitable formula in seven of Bologna’s last nine Serie A matches, as well as eight of Sassuolo’s 10 tussles across the full season thus far.

Since the start of last season, the hosts have covered this selection in 16/24 (67%) home games with 12 (50%) also featuring at least four goals. Bologna have also delivered Over 2.5 Goals in 9/14 (64%) away contests under Mihajlovic with 10 of those encounters seeing both sides score.

Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.50 goals at 1.800

Preview by: @MarkOHaire.

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