MX23RW : Wednesday, September 22 08:33:20| >> :120:54486:54486:
Sep 17, 2021 at 7.45pm UK at Stadio Alberto Braglia
FT(HT: 0-0)
Pjaca (83')
Bremer (12'), Aina (35'), Rodriguez (54'), Djidji (90+5')

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

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

Having both made mixed starts to the Serie A campaign, Sassuolo and Torino will square off at the Stadio Citta del Tricolore on Friday.

The hosts have collected four points from their opening three matches but suffered a defeat to Roma last time out, while their visitors put their first points on the board on Sunday with a 4-0 thrashing of Salernitana.

Match preview

Sassuolo coach Alessio Dionisi before the match on September 12, 2021© Reuters

After last season's eighth-placed finish, Sassuolo will have certainly headed into the new Serie A campaign with confidence, and they got off to a strong start, defeating Hellas Verona 3-2 away from home as Giacomo Raspadori, Filip Djuricic and Hamed Traore got on the scoresheet.

The Neroverdi then earned another commendable point, as their home clash with Sampdoria ended as a stalemate, although they may have been left feeling slightly disappointed, having had the better of the game for large portions.

After heading into the international break with four points from two outings, Alessio Dionisi's side returned to action with a trip to take on league leaders Roma, and a Djuricic equaliser on the hour mark after Bryan Cristante's opener looked to have earned another commendable point.

That was not to be though, as Stephen El Shaarawy popped up with a goal in the 91st minute to snatch all three points for the side from the capital, continuing their perfect start.

Nonetheless, Dionisi certainly has plenty of reason to be positive about his side's start, having only lost narrowly to one of the league's standout sides so far, and they will hope to make a quick return to winning ways on Friday, as they welcome a Torino side who come in with renewed confidence.

Ivan Juric, now in charge of Torino, pictured in May 2021© Reuters

Friday's visitors only avoided relegation by four points last season, eventually finishing in 17th spot, and they did not get off to a strong start in the new term.

After scraping past second-tier Cremonense on a penalty shootout in the first round of the Coppa Italia, Torino began the league season with a home clash against Atalanta, and an Andrea Belotti equaliser with 10 minutes to go looked to have salvaged a 1-1 draw, only for Roberto Piccoli to hit a 93rd-minute winner for the visitors and condemn Il Toro to an agonising defeat.

They were then handed a second straight loss by the same scoreline when they travelled to take on Fiorentina, as Simone Verdi's late goal was not enough to stage a comeback after Nicolas Gonzalez and Dusan Vlahovic had given the hosts a two-goal lead heading into the dying minutes.

Ivan Juric's men did manage to bounce back in style upon the return from the international break though, thrashing newly-promoted Salernitana 4-0, with Antonio Sanabria, Bremer, Tommaso Pobega and Sasa Lukic all opening their accounts for the season in a vital win.

That will certainly fill I Granata with confidence, as they look to finish more comfortably in the Italian top flight this time around, but they face another tough test on Friday with a trip to a dangerous Sassuolo outfit.

Sassuolo Serie A form:
  • W
  • D
  • L

Torino Serie A form:
  • L
  • L
  • W

Torino form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W

Team News

Torino's Andrea Belotti celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on August 21, 2021© Reuters

Sassuolo were boosted by the return of Domenico Berardi for the trip to Roma, as the crucial winger made his first appearance of the season after missing the start of the campaign through injury.

He set up Filip Djuricic for the goal, and both should again play key roles in the attacking line with winger Jeremie Boga completing a dangerous trio behind lone striker Giacomo Raspadori.

Pedro Obiang will remain out of action through injury, while the departure of star midfielder Manuel Locatelli to Juventus in the summer has seen Davide Frattesi and Maxime Lopez form a partnership in the engine room.

Torino are unlikely to make wholesale changes after Sunday's impressive win, although there were several players on the bench who will be desperate to break into the starting XI, including Leicester City loanee Dennis Praet and talented right-back Ola Aina.

Star forward Andrea Belotti was unable to make the squad for that game, and he is unlikely to be fit to start on Friday, leaving Antonio Sanabria to lead the line again after he got on the scoresheet.

Ricardo Rodriguez, Bremer and David Zima looked strong as a back three, and Ivan Juric is not expected to tamper with his defensive line.

Sassuolo possible starting lineup:
Consigli; Toljan, Chiriches, Ferrari, Rogerio; Fratessi, Lopez; Berardi, Djuricic, Boga; Raspadori

Torino possible starting lineup:
Milinkovic-Savic; Zima, Bremer, Rodriguez; Singo, Lukic, Praet, Ansaldi; Linetty, Sanabria, Pjaca

SM words green background

We say: Sassuolo 2-1 Torino

While Torino impressed last time out, we think the hosts boast the far stronger squad, especially with the return of Berardi and the absence of Belotti for the visitors.

Il Toro fought valiantly against two strong sides in their first two outings of the season, but ultimately fell to narrow defeats, and we see a similar result occurring on Friday.

Top tip

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Italy's Domenico Berardi celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on March 25, 2021
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