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Oct 23, 2021 at 5pm UK
Berardi (37'), Henry (50' og.), Frattesi (67')
Rogerio (78')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Okereke (32')
Crnigoj (9'), Henry (39')

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

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

Following a tough start to the Serie A season for either side, Sassuolo and Venezia meet on Saturday evening at the Mapei Stadium.

The Neroverdi will play hosts to the improving Venetians with the teams level on points and separated only by goal difference in the standings.

Match preview

Having won only twice in the league to date - and just once since the opening day - Sassuolo have started sluggishly under the reign of Alessio Dionisi and sit 14th in the Serie A table after eight rounds.

Their latest failure to pick up maximum points was all the more frustrating for Dionisi and his charges, as they tore into a two-goal lead through a Gianluca Scamacca double in the opening 20 minutes.

On loan at Genoa last term, the rangy striker returned to haunt his former club at the Marassi last Sunday, but Sassuolo then contrived to let that advantage slip through their fingers, and the home side ultimately pulled the score back to 2-2 with an 89th-minute equaliser.

That condemned the Neroverdi to a result which means they have posted a mere four points from their last six fixtures, and applies further pressure to their new coach, who started out with a difficult brief to replace popular predecessor Roberto De Zerbi in the summer.

Though their start has been far from disastrous, after achieving successive top eight finishes for the past two years, Sassuolo have underwhelmed by losing two of their first four home games this season - a number equal to their previous 12 Mapei Stadium matches.

Now that Scamacca seems to be up and running, he joins Italy star Domenico Berardi as the Emilians' greatest goalscoring threat on Saturday, but the duo's international colleague Giacomo Raspadori will be eager to add to a solitary goal so far this season.

Following their promotion back to the top tier after nearly two decades away, Venezia have become used to breaking new ground this term, but will now meet an opponent they have never encountered in either Serie A, Serie B or the Coppa Italia. In fact, the last time the Venetians played Sassuolo in a competitive game was back in 2008, when the pair were down in the doldrums of the Lega Pro.

This weekend sees the Arancioneroverdi travel to Emilia-Romagna back on a level footing with their hosts for the first time since those dark days, and they will arrive in good spirits, having remained unbeaten in three games either side of the international break.

Draws with possible relegation rivals Cagliari and Torino were followed, on Monday, by their second victory of the campaign, as Paolo Zanetti's men took down in-form Fiorentina at Stadio Pierluigi Penzo.

One of Italy's oldest, but most atmospheric, grounds was witness to Mattia Aramu's first-half strike, as the Lagunari then held on to seal their first home win in Serie A for 19 years.

Should they win Saturday's game, Venezia would already exceed the admittedly modest number of away wins they managed in each of their two most recent top-flight campaigns, and several new faces added to the promotion-winning squad give them hope of causing another upset this week.

With ex-Manchester United and Sampdoria goalkeeper Sergio Romero having made his debut on Monday evening, Zanetti's side can now rely on the experience of a former Argentina number one, as well as a handful of other potential stars drawn from far and wide.

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

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

Team News

Sassuolo approach Saturday's match with doubts over three men sidelined by illness during the past few days. Ivorian forwards Jeremie Boga and Hamed Junior Traore are both suffering with flu-like symptoms, though have repeatedly tested negative for COVID-19, while Kaan Ayhan missed out on Sunday due to a fever.

All three could yet be involved, but there will certainly be no place for Pedro Obiang, who remains out of action due to a heart condition, and long-term absentee Filippo Romagna.

Giacomo Raspadori's waning form was a factor in his withdrawal on the hour mark in Genoa, so if Boga is passed fit to start, the former Chelsea winger may take the Azzurri striker's place in the lineup - joining Gianluca Scamacca and Domenico Berardi in a three-man forward line.

Meanwhile, Venezia will be without the services of Luca Lezzerini once again, due to a back problem, but Sergio Romero's recent arrival has bolstered the goalkeeping department and he will start behind a back four for the away side.

Mattia Caldara is in contention to return to the heart of the visitors' defence and on-loan Wales international Ethan Ampadu seems set to continue in midfield.

Among players currently experiencing their first Serie A season, only expensively-acquired Roma striker Tammy Abraham has been involved in more goals than French striker Thomas Henry to date (three, including one goal and two assists) and the £5m summer signing should start up front for the Lagunari.

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

Venezia possible starting lineup:
Romero; Ebuehi, Caldara, Ceccaroni, Haps; Crnigoj, Vacca, Ampadu; Okereke, Johnsen; Henry

We say: Sassuolo 2-1 Venezia

Sassuolo can jump ahead of their counterparts in the table on Saturday, as their defensive deficiencies will not be so ruthlessly exposed by a Venezia side that has struggled for goals so far.

The hosts' own attacking shortcomings have been out of character, considering their reputation as great entertainers over the past couple of years, so if Scamacca and Berardi can hit it off this weekend they can get back to winning ways.

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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