Sassuolo v Spal – Mapei Stadium – Città del Tricolore at 11:30 GMT+1
Sassuolo registered a respectable mid-table finish in 2018/19, and could have broken into the top-half had the Neroverdi not downed tools for their final four fixtures of the campaign as they concluded only five points above the drop-zone. Nevertheless, Roberto De Zerbi’s outfit were hugely reliant on their home form.
The Emilia-Romagna club collected only four victories on their travels and they came at Spal, Chievo, Frosinone, and a floundering Fiorentina side in April. Sassuolo also found scoring difficult after the winter break and this summer has seen the departure of key players, such as Merih Demiral and Stefano Sensi.
Ciccio Caputo, Pedro Obiang, Jeremy Tolja and Hamed Junior Traore are the headline arrivals as the Neroverdi continue to remodel their squad. This season’s roster appears to be a bit more physical and imposing than the previous few collections. There’s certainly competition in midfield and potential in attack.
However, it might take time for Sassuolo to find their rhythm, as evidenced by the club’s early season performances under De Zerbi’s famed attack-minded approach. The Neroverdi were beaten 2-1 at Torino and blown away 4-2 at Roma last week but smashed Sampdoria 4-1 in their only home outing thus far.
Goals on the agenda
Finding a level of consistency is obviously key for De Zerbi but we should anticipate more of the same from Sassuolo in terms of intent, particularly at the Mapei Stadium. Under the current boss, the hosts have suffered only four home defeats with goals flowing in front of the club’s home supporters.
Sassuolo have only failed to score in four of their 20 home tussles under De Zerbi with 12 (60%) of those encounters in Serie A surpassing the Over 2.5 Goals barrier. A chunky 13 (65%) rewarded Both Teams To Score backers and it’s been a familiar case this season with both markets banking in all three league fixtures.
The Neroverdi’s matches have already averaged 3.00 Expected Goals (xG) – 2.13 from open play – and their visitors Spal are one of the few sides to currently boast a higher xG figure in both metrics from their opening trio of games.
Spal let a two-goal lead slip against Atalanta before suffering defeat at Bologna, but bounced back with a stoppage-time success against Lazio last time out. Leonardo Semplici’s side have a 50% winning rate for Over 2.5 Goals and BTTS bets on the road since the start of last season, plus promising underlying data.
The visitors notched in all bar six of their past 20 road trips and I’d anticipate the Biancazzurri getting on the scoresheet again on Sunday in what could prove to be an enjoyable and entertaining encounter. Over 2.5 Goals can be backed at 1.85 and that’s a price that’s unlikely to be around come kick-off.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.50 Goals at 1.850
Preview by: @MarkOHaire.