Roma host Sassuolo knowing a victory will see them leapfrog the Modena based outfit in the Serie A standings. It has been a domestic four months to forget for Eusebio Di Francesco, who will come up against some familiar faces having coached Sassuolo for five years before joining the capital club.
Where and when: Stadio Olimpico, Rome – 26 December, kick-off 17:00
Where you can see Roma vs. Sassuolo: Eleven Sports 1
Last time: Sassuolo stopper Gianluca Pegolo unfortunately put through his own net and it was enough for the Lupi to claim all three points on the final day of the 2017-18 campaign.
|Sassuolo to win 1-0||16/1||Offer|
|Cengiz Under to score last||11/2||Offer|
|Roma to win 2-1||7/1||Offer|
Roma vs. Sassuolo Predictions and Preview
10th place Roma were the latest victims of the unstoppable Juventus machine in the previous gameweek, falling to a Mario Mandzukic winner in the first-half. The Lupi started the contest with Patrik Schick upfront and the big Czech toiled once again. Schick has struggled since making his big money move to the capital and will be back on the substitutes bench with talisman Edin Dzeko back in contention. Dzeko made his return to first team action in the defeat with the Bianconeri and is the 4/1 favourite to open proceedings.
The Bosnian will link up with Cengiz Under, who is attracting strong interest from various clubs on the continent after a string of individually superb performances.
Di Francesco will hope to have Javier Pastore available in January, but in the meantime, Bryan Cristante will continue to deputise. The former Atalanta midfielder has had to bide his time but has done well, bagging two efforts from his last three appearances. Cristante is 7/1 to net anytime during the encounter and continue his good recent form.
Visitors Sassuolo sit two places above the hosts and just one point off a European berth. The Neroverdi are not to be underestimated and carry a real goal threat, hitting the back of the net 27 times, a figure higher than Lazio and Milan and the likes of Domenico Berardi and Kevin Prince-Boateng must be watched closely. Berardi is 5/2 to register first while Sassuolo are 4/1 to claim maximum points. The draw is 3/1.
One to watch for Roma: Diego Perotti is back in the fold after a spell on the sidelines and the Argentine’s ingenuity has been sorely missed. Perotti is 2/1 in the anytime betting.
One to watch for Sassuolo: Khouma Babacar is 13/5 in the same market and the Neroverdi striker will relish the physical battle with Kostas Manolas and Federico Fazio.
Long shot: Despite the absence of several attack minded players across the course of the season, Roma have still struck a fair number of goals. The Lupi’s haul of 29 is only five less than champions Juventus, which has largely gone under the radar due to the number of mistakes at the other end of the pitch. A resounding 4-0 success is 25/1.