Sassuolo vs Lazio

September 28, 2013
By: Nemanja Lazarevic

Sassuolo may have remained at rock bottom in spite of the 1-1 draw at Stadio San Paolo, but no doubt that result will keep them in good stead for the Lazio clash. The Biancocelesti continued with strong performances at home as they defeated Catania 3-1, but they are still searching for the first points on the road.

Sassuolo improving

The reality is Sassuolo management haven’t really done a great job in the summer transfer window, having waited long to finally sign players with Serie A experience, but the late spending spree should give them a good chance of staying alive. The likes of Ziegler, Marrone, Schelotto and Floro Flores will be expected to make a difference, but the team cannot afford to let their relegation rivals get away. Having lost their first four games, conceding no less than 15 goals in the process, I Neroverdi were written off even before the clash with Napoli at Stadio San Paolo, but the team produced a very good performance to win their first point of the season. Now that enthusiastic winger Domenico Berardi is back from suspension, Sassuolo boast a formidable attack seeing that Simone Zaza and Ezequiel Schelotto are also there, and when Luca Marrone returns from injury, I Neroverdi will be expected to start climbing the Serie A standings. Even if their shaky defence may not be able to stop Lazio from scoring on Sunday, the hosts have every reason to hope they can improve the record of just two goals in first five matches.

Antonio Floro Flores is doubtful with a muscle problem, but Luca Marrone, Emanuele Terranova, Carl Valeri and Marcello Gazzola are definitely out.

Defensive headache

Vladimir Petkovic did pretty well in his first season at Stadio Olimpico, leading the team to Coppa Italia trophy, although the lack of strength in depth prevented Lazio from mounting a serious top 3 challenge. The boss has done well to address the issue this summer, signing Felipe Anderson, Lucas Biglia, Diego Novaretti and Brayan Perea, but that did not result in such a good start. After they were hammered 4-0 by Juventus in Italian Super Cup match, the Biancocelesti also lost league games to Juventus and Roma, but they have been pretty impressive at home, winning three Serie A fixtures there and defeating Legia Warsaw in Europa League. However, Petkovic is all too aware that his side desperately need to improve on their away form and the match against bottom-placed Sassuolo looks like a perfect opportunity for the first triumph on the road. And while Lazio should have no problems getting past the opposition defence even without Miroslav Klose, the absence of four important defenders is bound to create problems at Stadio Citta del Tricolore.

Stefano Mauri is banned, while Stefan Radu, Lucas Biglia, Giuseppe Biava, Diego Novaretti, Miroslav Klose, Abdoulay Konko and Etrit Berisha are out injured.


The return of Domenico Berardi has made Sassuolo much more dangerous up front, and the hosts can be trusted to score against severely weakened Lazio. The Biancocelesti remain the favourites to win this match, but one should not forget they have yet to win their first points on the travels.

Top pick: Both teams to score   1.91 (10/11) @ William Hill

Alternative pick 1: Over 2.5 goals   2.00 (1/1) @ Betfred

Alternative pick 2: Away win   1.95 (19/20) @ BetVictor

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