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Sassuolo logo
Serie A | Gameweek 14
Dec 3, 2023 at 5pm UK
MAPEI Stadium - Citta del Tricolore
Roma logo
Sassuolo
1 - 2
Roma
Henrique (25')
Thorstvedt (55'), Berardi (69'), Henrique (83'), Erlic (90+3')
Boloca (63')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Dybala (76' pen.), Kristensen (82')
Kristensen (78')

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

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

Taking seven points from the last nine available has helped Roma steady the ship in Serie A, but after another slip-up in Europe they will seek a return to winning ways against Sassuolo on Sunday.

The hosts welcome Jose Mourinho's men to the Mapei Stadium following victory in an incredible seven-goal thriller last week, helping them edge further clear of the relegation zone.


Match preview

Paulo Dybala in action for Roma on May 31, 2023© Reuters

Chasing top spot in Group G, and with it an automatic place in the Europa League's last 16, Roma travelled to Geneva in midweek for a crucial clash against Servette.

However, a 1-1 draw with the Swiss side - featuring yet another Romelu Lukaku goal in UEFA competition - combined with Slavia Prague's win over Sheriff Tiraspol effectively consigned the Giallorossi to the knockout-round playoffs for a second successive season.

Nonetheless, Roma have already secured a top-two finish with one game remaining, and they now return to domestic duty having ground out some improved results of late.

After rallying late on to snatch victory over Lecce, then playing out a goalless stalemate in the Derby della Capitale, they were 3-1 winners over lowly Udinese last week, when Paulo Dybala and Stephan El Shaarawy both scored in the closing stages at Stadio Olimpico.

Outside of Rome, though, it has been a totally different story; in addition to picking up just one point from their two most recent Europa League road trips, Roma have won only one of their last 10 Serie A away fixtures and have failed to score in the last two.

Having also drawn on each of their last three league visits to Sassuolo, Mourinho's men have both recent history and current form to overturn if they are to claim victory and stay on the coat-tails of Italy's top four.

Sassuolo's Andrea Pinamonti celebrates scoring their third goal with Domenico Berardi on September 23, 2023© Reuters

Unbeaten in six of their last seven meetings with Roma - after losing eight of the previous 12 - Sassuolo have begun to improve a dismal record against their capital-city counterparts: all told, the Neroverdi have still won just 10% of the teams' league meetings.

After a goal-laden end to November, Alessio Dionisi's side may well fancy their chances of success on this occasion, as following their 2-2 fightback draw against Salernitana just before the most recent international break, they edged an even more eventful encounter last weekend.

Having traded goals from the fourth minute onward at Empoli's Stadio Carlo Castellani, star man Domenico Berardi produced a precious stoppage-time winner for the visitors, sealing a remarkable 4-3 win.

The Neroverdi's first league success since late September certainly eases the pressure on Dionisi, but he must now set about improving a below-par run of results in Reggio Emilia.

Failing to win eight of their last 10 Serie A home matches - and losing half - has seen Sassuolo finish last season on a down note and then start the current campaign sluggishly. As a result, they sit closer to the bottom three than the top six.

Sassuolo Serie A form:


Sassuolo form (all competitions):


Roma Serie A form:


Roma form (all competitions):



Team News

Roma coach Jose Mourinho talks to his players during a break in play on September 1, 2023© Reuters

Roma could make a handful of changes to the side that was held to a draw by Servette, with cup goalkeeper Mile Svilar among those demoted to the bench by Jose Mourinho, who criticised his players' intensity on Thursday evening. Rui Patricio therefore returns between the posts.

Long-term absentees Tammy Abraham and Marash Kumbulla remain on the road to recovery from ACL injuries, while Chris Smalling is still struggling with tendinitis, but Mourinho otherwise has a full squad to select from.

Although first-choice front pair Paulo Dybala and Romelu Lukaku should be retained, back-up striker Andrea Belotti has scored nine goals in 14 Serie A 14 games versus Sassuolo to date - his best tally against any top-flight team; Sardar Azmoun is further down the pecking order.

On loan at Sassuolo from Sunday's opponents, Matias Vina is set to step in at left-back for the hosts, after Mattia Viti picked up a knock in the win over Empoli.

Kristian Thorstvedt is favourite to beat Nedim Bajrami to the playmaker's role in Alessio Dionisi's favoured 4-2-3-1 formation, supporting Andrea Pinamonti up front. Only once has the latter ended a home game against Roma without scoring: back in May 2021, when he featured for just 13 minutes while representing Inter.

After netting from 12 yards again last week, Neroverdi talisman Domenico Berardi has scored more penalties than anyone across Europe's top five leagues in 2023, converting all 10 of his attempts from the spot.


Sassuolo possible starting lineup:
Consigli; Toljan, Erlic, Ferrari, Vina; Boloca, Henrique; Berardi, Thorstvedt, Lauriente; Pinamonti

Roma possible starting lineup:
Patricio; Mancini, Llorente, N'Dicka; Karsdorp, Cristante, Paredes, Pellegrini, Spinazzola; Dybala, Lukaku


SM words green background

We say: Sassuolo 1-1 Roma

Sassuolo may have struggled to produce their best on home turf this term, but Roma rarely travel well. A score draw could therefore be on the cards, causing more frustration for Jose Mourinho.


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


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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Game History

How you voted: Sassuolo vs Roma

Sassuolo
25.0%
Draw
27.1%
Roma
47.9%
48
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