On Friday night, the league leaders will travel to the Mapei Stadium to face The Neroverdi for Matchday 23 of Serie A.
Sassuolo have found the much-needed form in the recent weeks and are slowly climbing their way out of the relegation battle. Wins against Milan and Atalanta have pushed them straight upto 15th in the table and they are now 7 points away from the drop zone. Although Dionisi’s men could have had the better of Udinese after yet another impressive performance. But they were restricted to a 2-2 draw in their last run out in the Serie A.
Napoli on the other hand can already sense the Scudetto in their grasps as their lead is now extended to 15 points. They have found the net at least twice on the last three occasions in Serie A and are showing no signs of slowing down. Kvaratskhelia and Osimhen have been relentless and shown no signs of mercy with both of them netting 10 times and above in this campaign. But this might prove to be a tough test for Spalletti’s men given the form of Sassuolo in recent weeks. Comfortable wins against Spezia and Roma, and a 3-0 bludgeoning of bottom side Cremonese has kept their lead intact over second placed Inter Milan.
Friday, 17-02-2023; 07:45 pm (GMT)
Saturday, 18-02-2023; 01:15 am (IST)
Sassuolo form (all competition): D-W-W-D-L
Napoli form (all competition): W-W-W-W-L
Player to watch
Sassuolo: Domenico Berardi
The Italian’s trademark cut from the right wing into the inside channel onto his left foot is considered the basis of his style of play. In a 4-2-3-1 system played by Sassuolo, Berardi is deployed as a right winger. The most influential figure in Dionisi’s team, he has 4 goals and 3 assists in Serie A this campaign.
Napoli: Victor Osimhen
Can you keep him out of the game these days? A player very much competing with the likes of Haaland and Mbappe, he has caught the attention of renowned clubs around Europe. Scoring goals for fun, he has already netted 17 times in league this campaign and is the highest goal scorer in Serie A as of now.
- Napoli have just lost one of their last 14 games against Sassuolo in Serie A (W7, D6), with that defeat coming in November 2020.
- Sassuolo have won only one home match against Napoli in Serie A: 2-1 on 23rd August 2015 (D5, L3); in addition, five of the last six matches between these two sides at the Mapei Stadium have ended level.
- Sassuolo are unbeaten in their last four league games (W2, D2), last going longer without defeat in Serie A in March 2022 (six in that case).
Injury and team news
There are not much injury concerns for Dionisi who looks to have sorted out his problems at the backline. The pairing of Tresoldi and Erlic have seemed solid in the recent weeks while Defrel and Berardi have been among the goals. Although Berardi has a minor issue regarding adductor problems, it is is very unlikely that the star figure will be missing out on such a key fixture.
It is expected that Luciano Spaletti will be returning to the side that he fielded against Cremonese. Mario Rui still remains the viable option ahead of Mathius Oliveira. Giovanni Di Lorenzo might get the nod ahead of loan signing Bartosz Bereszynski, while Matteo Politano has some concerns regarding his calf injury but is expected to be there on the team sheet. Giacomo Raspadori will be unavailable to make the trip due to a muscle injury while the rest of the squad seems intact. Tanguy Ndombele has also found some game time in the recent weeks shuffling between Elif Elmas and Diego Demme.
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Sassuolo predicted lineup (3-4-3):
Consigli; Zortea, Erlic, Tresoldi, Marchizza; Frattesi, Obiang, Henrique; Berardi, Defrel, Lauriente
Napoli predicted lineup (4-3-3):
Meret; Di Lorenzo, Kim, Rrahmani, Rui; Anguissa, Lobotka, Zielinski; Lozano, Osimhen, Kvaratskhelia
Among the teams they have faced at least three times in Serie A, only against Roma (one) have Sassuolo won fewer games than against Napoli; two wins in 19 matches. Although they have found wind in their sails in the recent weeks, it does not seem that Spalletti’s men will be missing out on the 3 points in this fixture. History has favoured Napoli in this fixture and we predict it to be a comfortable win for the Ciucciarelli.
Prediction: Sassuolo 1-3 Napoli
India- Viacom18, Jio Cinema
UK- BT Sport, Viaplay Sports, OneFootball
Nigeria- No telecast.
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