Seeking to keep their extremely slim hopes of Scudetto glory alive, Juventus travel to the Mapei Stadium to round off this week’s Serie A fixtures against Sassuolo on Monday night.
Meanwhile, the hosts are sitting pretty in mid-table and realistically only have a top-half finish to fight for before the curtain closes on the 2021-22 campaign.
Making a habit of winning one then losing one in the Italian top flight in the past few weeks, the Sassuolo faithful would not be mad at such a run continuing against Massimiliano Allegri’s side on Monday, especially after the disappointment that they experienced against relegation-threatened Cagliari.
Alessandro Deiola’s effort on the stroke of half time was all that could separate the two sides a week ago as Sassuolo flattered to deceive away from home again, but a return to home comforts will suit Alessio Dionisi’s side down to the ground on Monday night.
No matter what transpires over the weekend before they take to the pitch on Monday, Sassuolo will hold their 10th-placed position in the table, and Dionisi has had nine days to dissect the loss to Cagliari as he seeks the optimal formula to his side’s recent defensive woes.
Always known for their prowess at the other end of the field, Sassuolo have now gone seven games without a clean sheet in Serie A since that San Siro win over reigning champions Inter Milan, which represents one of only three clean sheets that the hosts have kept in the league all season long.
Nevertheless, Sassuolo welcome Juventus to the Mapei Stadium on the back of three consecutive home wins in Serie A, while they have found the back of the net at least twice in each of their last five on their own turf, but the Old Lady know a thing or two about coming up trumps on the road.
Even though former Viola talisman Dusan Vlahovic went 173 minutes without making the net ripple against his former club in the Coppa Italia semi-finals, Juventus completed the job in a professional manner to see off Fiorentina and set up a showpiece showdown with Inter Milan.
Federico Bernardeschi and Danilo struck either side of the break for the Turin giants to ensure that their already brimming trophy cabinet could welcome yet another piece of silverware before the campaign concludes, although the current Scudetto holders will prove stern opposition next month.
Dropping two points in a 1-1 draw with Bologna last weekend leaves Juve with a lot to do to finish atop the pile, with the fourth-placed Bianconeri nine points adrift of Inter Milan – who eased past Roma on Saturday night – with five games remaining this term.
Coming into Monday’s game with only one defeat to boast from their last 19 in the Italian top flight, Allegri’s side are unbeaten domestically on the road since October and have won their last three Serie A games away from home, but early-season wobbles will seemingly prove fatal in their pursuit of the coveted crown.
Juve’s run to the Coppa Italia final also saw them progress past Sassuolo 2-1 on aggregate in the last eight, and they are unbeaten on the Neroverdi’s turf since the 2015-16 season, where Allegri’s side were undone by a Nicola Sansone winner in a 1-0 defeat.
Sassuolo Serie A form:
Juventus Serie A form:
Juventus form (all competitions):
We say: Sassuolo 1-3 Juventus
As impressive as Sassuolo have been in front of their faithful in recent weeks, restricting the opposition to minimal chances is not their forte, so attack may be the best form of defence for the hosts here.
Determined to bounce back from dropping two points to Bologna and buoyed by a strong Coppa Italia showing, a Juventus side who rarely flatter to deceive away from home ought to get the job done to keep the pressure on the Scudetto hopefuls.