MX23RW : Friday, January 8 04:05:52| >> :600:199095:199095:
Dec 6, 2020 at 2pm UK at Stadio Olimpico

Pedro (11'), Villar (25'), Mirante (45+2'), Karsdorp (87')
Pedro (41')

Lopez (18'), Raspadori (71'), Obiang (79')

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

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Serie A clash between Roma and Sassuolo, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

After unexpectedly capitulating at an emotional Stadio San Paolo last time out, Roma are ready to take on Sassuolo this Sunday, having since cruised through as Europa League group winners.

The Neroverdi, meanwhile, have reaped the benefit of another midweek rest as they aim to bounce back from their own Serie A trouncing at the hands of Inter Milan last week.

Match preview

Roma forward Pedro celebrates with Tommaso Milanese after scoring against CFR Cluj on November 5, 2020© Reuters

Roma's continental encounter with Swiss side Young Boys on Thursday earned them passage to the knockout stages next year, brightening a horizon briefly blackened by that heavy loss to Napoli last weekend.

The Giallorossi's first on-pitch defeat of the Serie A season was a comprehensive 4-0 demolition by their Neapolitan rivals and came as a bolt from the blue after a previously stunning spell of form.

Five wins and a draw prior to that debacle, at the stadium now named after club legend Diego Maradona, sees Paulo Fonseca's forward-thinking side occupy sixth place in the standings on a healthy 17 points.

Entertainment has been high on the agenda at Stadio Olimpico this term, as Roma have not lost in their last eight home league fixtures while scoring at least two goals in each game - only two times have the Giallorossi previously netted at least twice during a spell of nine home matches in a row, both of which were in the pre-war era.

Top scorer Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who has five goals and four assists so far, has thrived in the absence of Edin Dzeko recently and back-up striker Borja Mayoral has continued to fill his boots in the Europa League.

Visitors have hardly been starved of chances either, as Roma's injury-stricken defence have conceded 15 goals in their opening nine league games.

Those defensive deficiencies will be music to the ears of a particularly potent Sassuolo side - with 20 goals already this campaign - because they are in need of a swift bounce-back, given the short, sharp shock provided by last week's 3-0 loss at home to Inter.

Gian Marco Ferrari in action for Sassuolo© Reuters

A head-to-head for second place turned into a no-contest by the hour mark, with Antonio Conte's team dominating the early exchanges before holding Sassuolo at bay in the closing stages.

Though the Emilians are still a surprising third in the standings, with 18 points, they have still to meet both Roma and Milan before the brief winter break, while star striker Francesco Caputo is likely to miss Sunday's clash in the capital.

Roberto De Zerbi's enterprising team do not often enjoy their encounters with the Giallorossi either, having lost eight games against Roma in Serie A - only against Juventus have they recorded more defeats in the Italian top flight.

In fact, Sassuolo's only win against Roma in their relatively brief Serie A history was in their most recent clash - a 4-2 triumph in February.

In each of the seven Serie A matches so far between the clubs at Stadio Olimpico, both sides have hit the target at least once - 26 goals in total, at an average of nearly four per game.

Therefore, given recent form and precedent, fans and neutrals alike can expect an open affair, full of goals and incident throughout.

Roma Serie A form: WDWWWL
Roma form (all competitions): WWWWLW

Sassuolo Serie A form: WDWDWL

Team News

Roma defender Chris Smalling pictured warming up on November 5, 2020© Reuters

Roma centre-back Chris Smalling is expected to miss Sunday's game with an ongoing knee injury, with fellow defenders Gianluca Mancini and Davide Santon also absent - though Marash Kumbulla and Federico Fazio returned in midweek.

Former Aston Villa midfielder and first-choice penalty taker Jordan Veretout has a thigh injury so will be replaced by young Gonzalo Villar - a Europa League regular.

Much to Roberto De Zerbi's disappointment, Sassuolo forward Francesco Caputo is likely to miss out, while defender Vlad Chiriches, Filippo Romagna and French striker Gregoire Defrel are definitely sidelined for the Neroverdi.

Filip Djuricic could start in Caputo's absence, supported by Domenico Berardi and former Chelsea winger Jeremie Boga.

Roma possible starting lineup:
Mirante; Ibanez, Cristante, Kumbulla; Karsdorp, Pellegrini, Villar, Spinazzola; Pedro, Mkhitaryan; Dzeko

Sassuolo possible starting lineup:
Consigli; Ayhan, Marlon, Ferrari, Rogerio; Obiang, Locatelli; Berardi, Lopez, Boga; Djuricic

SM words green background

We say: Roma 2-1 Sassuolo

Returning to winning ways in midweek, Roma are set to get back on track in Serie A too - particularly given the visitors' stark loss last week and the probable absence of their talisman, Domenico Berardi.

With more game time under his belt post-quarantine, Edin Dzeko can get back to somewhere near his powerful best and help Paulo Fonseca's side to stay in touch with the league leaders.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 2.5 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.Over 2.5:curl


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Napoli's Lorenzo Insigne celebrates scoring against Roma in Serie A on November 29, 2020
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