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Mar 13, 2021 at 2pm UK
Hellas VeronaHellas Verona
Locatelli (4'), Duricic (51'), Traore (81')
Duricic (52'), Locatelli (76'), Traore (90+3')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Lazovic (43'), Dimarco (79')
Faraoni (29'), Magnani (55')
Pandur (89')

Preview: Sassuolo vs. Hellas Verona - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Defensive deficiencies have left Sassuolo with just one point from their past three matches ahead of their clash with Hellas Verona at the Mapei Stadium this Saturday afternoon.

Increasingly susceptible to the counter-attack, the Neroverdi will have their hands full with Ivan Juric's well-honed side, who - despite losing to Milan last time out - had previously put together a run of eight points from four games in Serie A.

Match preview

Perhaps inevitably, after their thrilling 3-3 draw with Napoli just days earlier, Sassuolo could only produce bluster against mid-table Udinese last weekend, as they slipped to a 2-0 loss at the Dacia Arena despite having over 70% of the possession.

Roberto De Zerbi's men have made a frustrating habit of letting their impressive ball retention skills be undermined by defensive lapses in recent weeks and will now be intent on avoiding an extension of their faltering form on home turf.

Despite their obvious relief at salvaging a point through in-form Francesco Caputo's penalty at the death in their last outing at the Mapei Stadium, that result saw their winless streak at home extended to a fourth game.

Indulging in some unsuccessful squad rotation amid a spell of three games in a week, De Zerbi was not rewarded for his faith in some of Sassuolo's supporting cast, so should be ready to reunite 'Ciccio' Caputo - with five goals and an assist in his last seven matches - and star man Domenico Berardi (two goals in four since returning from injury) up front.

Caputo, who is within touching distance of a half-century of goals in Serie A - currently sitting on 49 - could potentially score in five successive starts for the first time in his top-flight career against Verona and shows every sign that he is back in top gear after some niggling injury concerns at the start of the year.

His consistently overachieving team have, in fact, won three of their last four league games against Hellas too - while drawing the other - so will have recent precedent, if not current form, on their side on Saturday.

Even though they have once again impressed observers by mixing it with the top eight throughout the season, no team has managed to hit the woodwork more often in Serie A this term than Verona. Their 16 frame-rattling attempts to date have been equalled only by the similarly unfortunate Milan and, significantly, a frustrating four of them arrived in the first meeting against Sassuolo: a 2-0 defeat in November.

While that was one of only four reverses at Stadio Bentegodi in the 2020-21 campaign, their most recent loss on home turf came last weekend, in a 2-0 defeat to the Rossoneri.

Considering their opponents' stuttering form and significant injury list, Hellas were insipid throughout the contest, lending further credence to the claim that their impotent forwards are preventing them from taking the final step towards the European places, as they currently trail seventh-placed Lazio by five points having played a game more.

Juric has occasionally vented his frustration that his team has registered the fewest goals of all the clubs in the top half of the table, but to compensate for the travails of Nikola Kalinic, Kevin Lasagna and company, his rock-solid defence boasts the third-best record in the league.

With a visit from Atalanta still to come before the international break, Verona will surely be targeting all three points against inconsistent opponents this time out then, as they continue to dream of an unlikely continental tilt next term.

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

Hellas Verona Serie A form:
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • L

Team News

Former Premier League players Jeremie Boga, once of Chelsea, and Vlad Chiriches (ex-Tottenham) are expected to return from thigh problems this weekend, to bolster Roberto De Zerbi's options for Sassuolo.

However, midfielder Mehdi Bourabia may be set to miss out once again, so highly-rated Manuel Locatelli should be joined by either Pedro Obiang or Maxime Lopez in the home team's engine room after a failed experiment with Kaan Ayhan in a more advanced role.

Verona have concerns over defender Kevin Ruegg, who is still recovering from an ankle sprain, while Nikola Kalinic (thigh), Marco Benassi (calf), Ebrima Colley (knee) and Ronaldo Vieira (thigh) are all ruled out with muscular injuries.

Stalwart midfielder Miguel Veloso will once more compete with young Ivan Ilic for a start alongside Adrien Tameze in the centre of the Gialloblu midfield and Kevin Lasagna leads the line in Kalinic's continued absence.

Sassuolo possible starting lineup:
Consigli; Muldur, Ferrari, Chiriches, Rogerio; Locatelli, Lopez; Berardi, Djuricic, Traore; Caputo

Hellas Verona possible starting lineup:
Silvestri; Ceccherini, Gunter, Magnani; Faraoni, Tameze, Veloso, Lazovic; Barak, Zaccagni; Lasagna

We say: Sassuolo 1-1 Hellas Verona

Two closely-matched sides - separated by only one place and two points in the standings - are poised to play out a low-scoring draw in Emilia.

Given Sassuolo's inability to keep a clean sheet and Verona's defensive resilience, there is a fair chance that the hosts will again be punished for failing to keep the back door shut, as they press forward persistently in adherence with the De Zerbi master plan.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home 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 Win:data

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1Inter Milan54101851313
2AC Milan5410102813
4Atalanta BCAtalanta531164210
15Hellas VeronaHellas Verona5113811-34
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