Despite losing to Palermo last weekend, Sassuolo have got a perfect opportunity to further increase their advantage over the bottom three sides as they host struggling Cesena. Cavallucci Marini are already five points adrift of safety and they desperately need a positive result to kick-start their season.
Sassuolo hope for mid table finish
Sassuolo only made it to the elite division a year and a half ago, but the club are already on the road to establish themselves as Serie A regulars. Some shrewd transfer dealings and a partnership with Juventus allowed the Neroverdi to create a very good squad, with Simone Zaza becoming club’s first ever footballer to represent Italy at senior level. Together with Italy Under-21 star Domenico Berardi and Nicola Sansone, the forward forms a very good attacking trio that has been terrorizing Serie A defenders this season. Following some very good results in the opening exchanges, Sassuolo have already created a seven-point cushion between them and the relegation zone, and with the match against out-of-sorts Cesena the last one before the winter break, the Neroverdi can further improve their position in the standings. Eusebio Di Francesco’s charges have been pretty impressive at home of late, defeating Empoli, Verona and Pescara while sharing spoils with Juventus and Atalanta, meaning they are rightly considered hot favourites to defeat Cesena on Saturday evening.
Andrea Consigli and Paolo Cannavaro are both banned, but Domenico Berardi, Federico Peluso and Sime Vrsaljko return to the starting line-up.
Destined for the drop
Cesena returned to Serie A via the play-offs, eliminating the likes of Modena and Latina to gain promotion, but the club management did not give the team a good chance of surviving the drop. And while a number of players joined the ranks in the summer, the club utterly failed to sign worthy reinforcements, so it is fair to say nobody is surprised to see Cavallucci Marini deep in the relegation zone. The opening day victory over fellow strugglers Parma remains the team’s only triumph this season, which means that Cesena have failed to win any of their last 15 matches in all competitions. Mimmo Di Carlo’s charges have been shocking on the travels this term, losing six of seven matches, scoring 5 and conceding 16 goals in the process, which is enough to suggest they are going to experience problems against very good Sassuolo side. While they have been leaking goals for fun of late, Cesena also have a number of selection worries and things are definitely not looking good ahead of what is the final match before the winter break.
Massimo Volta misses out through suspension, whereas Guido Marilungo, Francesco Renzetti, Gabriele Perico and Milan Djuric are injured and Luca Garritano is doubtful.
Sassuolo have been quite impressive in home games over the last couple of months and with the firepower at their disposal, Cesena are unlikely to cause them too many problems. Meanwhile, Cavallucci Marini have been absolutely shocking on the travels this season and the barren run is highly unlikely to end this weekend.
Top pick: Home win 1.57 (4/7) @ Ladbrokes
Alternative pick 1: Sassuolo/Sassuolo 2.45 (29/20) @ BetVictor
Alternative pick 2: Sassuolo with -1.5 AH 2.60 (8/5) @ 888sport