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Traore (57'), Raspadori (85')
Duricic (2'), Rogerio (87'), Turati (90'), Haraslin (90+3')
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Pellegrini (26' pen.), Peres (69')
Diawara (15'), Pellegrini (44'), Cristante (90+2')

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

:Headline: Preview: Sassuolo vs. Roma - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Serie A clash between Sassuolo and Roma, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Champions League hopefuls Roma travel to Sassuolo on Saturday afternoon, looking to climb into the top four with a victory.

The two teams played out a goalless draw in December's reverse fixture but have never drawn both meetings in a Serie A campaign.

Match preview

Sassuolo were unable to build on their 3-2 victory over Hellas Verona as they threw away a two-goal lead and lost 3-2 away at relegation-threatened Torino just before the international break.

A brace from Domenico Berardi put the Neroverdi into a strong position heading into half time, but Torino came out fighting after the break and scored three goals within the final 15 minutes – including a 92nd-minute winner from former Sassuolo striker Simone Zaza – to seal all three points in Turin.

That result has kept Roberto De Zerbi's side in eighth place but with an 11-point gap separating them from the top six, their hopes of European qualification are slowly slipping away.

Since their promotion to Serie A in 2013, Sassuolo have won only one of their 15 top-flight matches against Roma, which was a 4-2 victory on home soil last season.

The Neroverdi continue to concede goals this campaign and have done so in each of their last 16 league games – they have never gone 17 matches without a clean sheet in Serie A.

If they are to keep their slim chances of a top-six finish alive then securing three points against Roma on Saturday is crucial for De Zerbi's side.

Despite cruising to a 5-1 aggregate victory over Shakhtar Donetsk in the last 16 of the Europa League, Roma manager Paulo Fonseca was disappointed to lose successive league matches to Parma and most recently to top-six rivals Napoli.

A brace from Dries Mertens helped the Azzurri secure a 2-0 win in the capital, condemning Roma to their second home defeat in three league matches. Prior to this run, the Giallorossi were unbeaten in their opening 12 matches at the Stadio Olimpico this season.

Fonseca's side remain in sixth place, two points behind Juventus in fourth and one point clear of city rivals Lazio, who have a game in hand.

Despite their recent defeats at the Stadio Olimpico, Roma's home form has not been an issue throughout this campaign as only AC Milan have picked up more points on home soil so far in Serie A.

Their away form, however, is a greater cause for concern as they have gained only 17 of their 50 league points on the road, winning just five of their 13 away matches.

In addition, no team has scored fewer away goals in the top-flight than Roma (five) since the turn of the year, and the Giallorossi have failed to score in four games during this period.

Victory at the Mapei Stadium on Saturday would provide a much-needed boost for Fonseca's side in their quest to qualify for the Champions League.

Sassuolo Serie A form:
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L

Roma Serie A form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L

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

Team News

Sassuolo have been dealt a huge blow as key forward duo Berardi (thigh) and Francesco Caputo (back), who have scored 22 goals combined this season, are both ruled out with injuries.

Midfielder Mehdi Bourabia (hamstring) and centre-back Filippo Romagna (knee) are both hoping to return from their injuries but Saturday's game may come too soon for the Neroverdi pair.

Attacking midfielder Hamed Traore could return to the first XI along with winger Jeremie Boga, while Filip Duricic may start the match in a false-nine position.

Roma defender Marash Kumbulla suffered a knee injury whilst on international duty with Albania and is expected to be out for up to a month.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan (calf) and Nicolo Zaniolo (knee) both remain out injured, while defender Ibanez is suspended.

The Giallorossi can, however, welcome back midfielder Jordan Veretout from injury, as well as wing-back Bruno Peres from suspension.

Chris Smalling is also fit to return to the side, and although Fonseca would have liked to have rested the Englishman ahead of their Europa League quarter-final against Ajax on Thursday, the defender is expected to start due to the absentees at centre-back.

Striker Edin Dzeko is set to make his 250th appearance in all competitions for Roma; the Bosnian has not scored in his last eight Serie A matches and could equal his longest run without a goal in the competition (nine between October 2018 and January 2019).

Sassuolo possible starting lineup:
Consigli; Muldur, Chiriches, Ferrari, Rogerio; Obiang, Locatelli; Defrel, Traore, Boga; Duricic

Roma possible starting lineup:
Lopez; Mancini, Cristante, Smalling; Karsdorp, Diawara, Villar, Spinazzola; Pellegrini, El Shaarawy; Dzeko

We say: Sassuolo 2-2 Roma

Even though the reverse fixture between Sassuolo and Roma finished goalless in December, games involving the Neroverdi have regularly seen goals throughout this campaign.

Sassuolo's last seven home matches in Serie A have seen both teams score, and we can see this run continuing on Saturday. With injuries weakening both squads heading into this fixture, an entertaining score draw could be on the cards.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win 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.Home/Away:data

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Serie A Table
1 38287389355491
2 38247774413379
3 38239690474378
4 38239677383978
5 38245986414577
6 38215126155668
7 381881268581062
8 381711106456862
9 38157165254-252
10 381112154648-245
11 381012164758-1142
12 381011175165-1441
13 38913164759-1240
14 381010184258-1640
15 38912175272-2039
16 38910194359-1637
17 38716155069-1937
18 38712194075-3533
19 3865274592-4723
20 38311243983-4420
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