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

sportsmole.co.uk, 2 July 2020, 07:28
Preview: Sassuolo vs. Lecce - prediction, team news, lineups

Lecce will be looking to end a run of five straight Serie A defeats and boost their survival hopes in the process when they travel to Sassuolo on Saturday night.

The visitors are currently 18th in the table, one point behind 17th-placed Genoa, while Sassuolo occupy 12th position and recorded an impressive 3-1 win at Fiorentina on Wednesday night.

Match preview

© Reuters

Ten wins, seven draws and 12 defeats - that is how Sassuolo have performed in Serie A during the 2019-20 campaign, with a total of 37 points leaving them in 12th position in the table.

The Black and Greens have been present in each of the last seven Serie A campaigns and only an incredible turn of events would see them dragged into trouble at this stage.

Indeed, they are currently 12 points clear of the bottom three and actually just two points behind ninth-placed Cagliari, suggesting that they are looking up the division rather than down at this stage.

Roberto De Zerbi 's side suffered a 4-1 defeat to Atalanta BC on their return to action on June 21, before picking up points in back-to-back draws with Inter Milan and Hellas Verona.

Sassuolo will enter this weekend's match off the back of a victory, though, having impressively won 3-1 at Fiorentina on Wednesday night, with French forward Gregoire Defrel netting a brace.

© Reuters

Lecce earned promotion back to the top flight courtesy of finishing second in Serie B last season, but they are facing a battle to retain their status at this level of football.

I Giallorossi have only picked up 25 points from their 29 league matches during the 2019-20 campaign, which has left them in 18th position in the table, one point behind 17th-placed Genoa.

Fabio Liverani 's team won three straight games between February 2 and February 15, but their form immediately before and after the restart will certainly be concerning for their supporters.

Indeed, they have lost each of their last five in Italy's top flight, including defeats to AC Milan, Juventus and Sampdoria since returning to action on June 22.

Lecce played out a 2-2 draw with Sassuolo in the reverse match earlier this season, but the strugglers need to start putting victories on the board if they are to fight off the threat of relegation.

Sassuolo Serie A form: LWLDDW

Lecce Serie A form: WLLLLLL

Team News

© Reuters

Sassuolo will again be without the services of Jeremy Toljan and Filippo Romagna through injury, but the home side's squad is otherwise in good shape ahead of this match.

There are not expected to be many changes from the side that started against Fiorentina, although Domenico Berardi for Hamed Junior Traore is an alteration that could happen in the final third.

Francesco Caputo, who has scored 14 times in Serie A this season, is also likely to return despite Defrel netting a brace last time out.

As for Lecce, Fabio Lucioni is available after serving a one-game suspension against Sampdoria on Wednesday night, but Zan Majer, Alessandro Deiola, Gianluca Lapadula and Cristian Dell'Orco are still injured.

Diego Farias and Khouma Babacar both came off the bench in Lecce's last match and could come into Liverani's thinking when it comes to starting roles.

The absence of leading scorer Lapadula, who has netted seven times in Serie A this term, is a big one for the visitors, and Antonin Barak could again be deployed in an advanced area in an attempt to fill the void.

Sassuolo possible starting lineup:

Pegolo; Muldur, Chiriches, Ferrari, Rogerio; Magnanelli, Locatelli; Boga, Duricic, Berardi; Caputo

Lecce possible starting lineup:

Gabriel; Rispoli, Donati, Lucioni, Paz, Calderoni; Mancosu, Tachtsidis, Barak; Falco, Saponara

We say: Sassuolo 2-0 Lecce

Lecce's recent form is extremely poor, but Sassuolo will enter the match off the back of a fine result. The home side have a lot of talent in the final third of the field, and we fancy them to pick up all three points here.

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