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Sassuolo logo
Serie A | Gameweek 33
Apr 21, 2024 at 11.30am UK
MAPEI Stadium - Citta del Tricolore
Lecce logo

0 - 3

Lauriente (19')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Gendrey (11'), Dorgu (15'), Piccoli (61')

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

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Serie A clash between Sassuolo and Lecce, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Sassuolo remain in relegation danger heading into gameweek 33 when they welcome Lecce to the Mapei Stadium in Sunday's Serie A action.

The Neroverdi have drawn three straight games, but this has not sufficed for the second-bottom club seeking maximum points to leave the relegation zone, and they hope for a first victory in five against a team that created separation from the struggling sides after last weekend's win against Empoli.

Match preview

Sassuolo coach Davide Ballardini reacts on April 14, 2024© Reuters

When Sassuolo picked up three points against Frosinone at the start of March, the Neroverdi hoped that 1-0 success would be the fillip for a turnaround in fortunes.

However, four gameweeks have come and gone without the 19th-placed side securing maximum points in Serie A.

It has not been for the lack of trying, with Davide Ballardini's men playing out three draws in three consecutive top-flight matches.

The latest came in a 3-3 stalemate with second-placed AC Milan, even if the Reggio Emilia side rued the missed opportunity to claim all the points after leading 2-0 and 3-1 at the Mapei.

Those extra two points will have seen them move ahead of current third-bottom Frosinone and level with Empoli and Udinese on 28 points, but they remain two from safety.

Lecce's Lorenzo Venuti with teammates remonstrate with referee Rosario Abisso on November 11, 2023© Reuters

Lecce hope to claim three points against another struggling club after nicking a 1-0 triumph last time out against Empoli.

That triumph took Lupi to 32 points, five clear of 18th-placed Frosinone, effectively giving Luca Gotti's men some margin for error in the relegation battle.

Losing on Sunday means Lecce cannot slide into the bottom three, but Gotti hopes his side claim a colossal result at the home of another relegation contender, which potentially allays fears of Serie A demotion.

Nevertheless, that outcome may be a long shot for a side beaten in seven of their previous nine away matches, with Lupi's only road victory coming at cellar-dwelling Salernitana.

It remains to be seen if Gotti inspires his men to only their second road triumph of 2023-24 on Sunday, but it will be far from straightforward for the away side.

Sassuolo Serie A form:

Lecce Serie A form:

Team News

Sassuolo's Armand Lauriente celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on April 14, 2024© Reuters

Domenico Berardi, Marcus Pedersen and Samu Castillejo are absent for Sassuolo due to respective injuries. Jeremy Toljan's health will be checked, and the wide defender could start ahead of Ruan Tressoldi if passed fit to play from the off.

Ruan is one more booking from a suspension, as is Gian Marco Ferrari.

Armand Lauriente is in fine form, having notched three goals in two Serie A appearances, and the forward seeks to score for three games running for the first time in Serie A.

Pontus Almqvist is suspended for Lecce after picking up his fifth booking this season in last weekend's victory over Empoli.

Kastriot Dermaku, Mohamed Kaba and Lameck Banda are missing because of injuries, while Ylber Ramadani is touch-and-go for Sunday's encounter against the Neroverdi. The latter's issue is mild, thus pointing to a start in midfield.

Nicola Sansone, last week's match-winner against Lecce, has netted twice and assisted as many as a substitute, and the forward provides an option as a starter or off the bench if Gotti's Plan A is going awry.

Sassuolo possible starting lineup:
Consigli; Ruan, Erlic, Ferrari, Doig; Racic, Henrique; Defrel, Thorstvedt, Lauriente; Pinamonti

Lecce possible starting lineup:
Falcone; Gendrey, Pongracic, Baschirotto, Gallo; Blin, Ramadani, Rafia; Sansone, Piccoli, Dorgu

SM words green background

We say: Sassuolo 1-0 Lecce

Apart from the 3-0 loss to Milan on April 6, Lecce's games since Gotti took charge have been tightly-contested encounters, with one goal scored in wins over Salernitana and Empoli, while Lupi held Roma to a goalless match.

However, Lecce have never won at the Mapei, losing three and drawing twice in five visits to Reggio Emilia; Sassuolo should extend that run to six by eking out a marginal win on Sunday.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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