Preview: Sassuolo vs. Spezia

Preview: Sassuolo vs. Spezia

Spezia will be looking to follow up last weekend’s crucial Serie A victory with another three points on Friday evening when they travel to the Mapei Stadium to face Sassuolo.

I Neroverdi, meanwhile, could extend their unbeaten league run to six matches if they avoid defeat against the Aquilotti.

Sassuolo missed the chance to claim their fourth successive Serie A win as they played out a 2-2 draw away at basement club Salernitana last weekend.

After going behind in the eighth minute, I Neroverdi turned the game on its head midway through the first half with two brilliant goals from Gianluca Scamacca and Hamed Traore.

However, the match took another twist on the hour mark as Giacomo Raspadori received two needless yellow cards within two minutes for late challenges. The dismissal provided a much-needed boost for Salernitana who, after pushing hard for an equaliser, eventually reaped their rewards when Milan Duric headed home in the 81st minute to rescue a point.

Alessio Dionisi will have been disappointed with his side’s second-half efforts, but nevertheless, they managed to claim a point on the road, which keeps them within eight points of the top six with nine league games remaining.

With challenging fixtures against Lazio, Atalanta BC, Juventus, Napoli and AC Milan still to come, Sassuolo will view Friday’s favourable-looking contest against Spezia as a must-win if they are to keep their slim European hopes alive.

I Neroverdi have failed to win their last two games against Spezia, but they have scored in all seven previous meetings, finding the net at least twice on five occasions, so they will be confident of success this time around.

After four straight Serie A defeats, Spezia were sliding down towards the danger zone; however, they managed to return to winning ways last weekend with a 2-0 victory at home against relegation rivals Cagliari.

Second-half strikes from Martin Erlic and Rey Manaj helped the hosts secure their eighth league win of the campaign and move seven points clear of 18th-placed Venezia, who have a game in hand.

In just their second ever top-flight season, Thiago Motta’s men currently sit 15th in the Serie A standings with 29 points, the same number of points they had accumulated at this stage of last season.

The Aquilotti need to claim at least nine points from their final nine league games if they wish to surpass last season’s tally of 37 points. With games against Venezia, Empoli and Torino to come next month, Motta’s side will be confident of putting together a decent run of form to end the campaign.

Spezia will now be fully focused on Friday’s trip to Sassuolo and will be aiming to claim back-to-back wins at the Mapei Stadium for the first time, after winning 2-1 in February last year, thanks to strikes from Erlic and Emmanuel Gyasi.

Sassuolo Serie A form:
Sassuolo form (all competitions):
Spezia Serie A form:

We say: Sassuolo 2-1 Spezia
Spezia showed their defensive resilience against Cagliari last time out, but they could struggle to keep a clean sheet against Sassuolo, who have scored at least twice in 18 Serie A games this season, including in each of their last five.

The hosts will miss the presence of Raspadori in attack, but they still have enough quality in their side to secure all three points on Friday.

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