Serie A entertainers Roma host an improving Sassuolo side buoyed by their recent victory against Inter. The Giallorossi, who still have a game in hand, remain nicely positioned in the standings despite the defeat at the hands of champions Juventus and how Eusebio Di Francesco’s men react following the loss will be a deciding factor.
Where and when: Stadio Olimpico – 30 December, kick-off 14:00
Where you can see Roma vs. Sassuolo: BT Sport, bet365 live streaming
Last time: Following an initial scare, Roma recovered and emerged with the three points in a comfortable 3-1 victory.
Roma v Sassuolo Predictions and Preview
Di Francesco will come face-to-face with the club he successfully guided to Italy’s top flight in 2012-13. This will be the first showdown between the innovative tactician’s past and present and with the core group of players Di Francesco signed still plying their trade in Modena, the 48-year-old can use this familiarity to his advantage.
With neighbours Lazio a mere two points adrift, clinching the win becomes more important and at 2/1 the yellow and red half of the capital are expected to get the better of 14th place Sassuolo.
Full-back Aleksandar Kolarov, who is so instrumental to how Roma setup, is an attractive 12/1 to get on the scoresheet. The marauding Serbian offers the width and possesses a wicked left foot, notching an impressive two goals and three assists from just 16 appearances. A formidable threat at set pieces and outlet for hitman Edin Dzeko.
Summer signing Patrik Schick is pushing for inclusion having been eased in after three months on the sidelines. The ex-Sampdoria starlet is known for the spectacular and at 25/1 is an eye-catching option to score last if Sassuolo are weary or overcommit.
The mind-set for opposite number Beppe Iachini is different. The journeyman Coach has overseen a much needed upturn in form since his appointment and taking a share of the spoils would be a good outcome. A goalless draw is 20/1 and having kept two clean sheets in their last three matchups, the Neroverdi have a good platform to build on.
One to watch for Roma: Dzeko has yet to hit the heights of last term but remains the Lupi’s danger man. The Bosnian striker is 3/1 to open the scoring.
One to watch for Sassuolo: Diego Falcinelli bagged the winner last weekend against Luciano Spalletti’s group and is the focal point of the team. He’s 9/1 to score any time.
Long shot: Only relegation certainties Benevento have scored less this season than the Neroverdi, while Roma boast the meanest defence in the division, conceding 11 efforts. An early goal from the visitors could set up a thrilling encounter with points and momentum at stake. A 3-3 draw is a bold 55-1.