Sassuolo will look to put their midweek Coppa Italia exit behind them and focus exclusively on qualifying for European football in Serie A when they host Parma on Sunday at 2pm (UK time).
Roberto De Zerbi was riding the crest of a wave at the start of the campaign, but that early-season success has just started to tail off, with his side enjoying only three wins in the last 10 games, which includes a shock defeat to Serie B outfit SPAL in the Coppa Italia round-of-16 on Thursday.
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Where to watch Sassuolo vs Parma on TV:
- UK: Premier Sports 2
- US: ESPN+
Scoreline prediction: Sassuolo 2-1 Parma
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Sassuolo vs Parma build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
Having gone the opening eight Serie A games unblemished, the brilliantly nicknamed Watermelon Rind have just started to come unstuck in recent outings and have endured concerns both on and off the pitch, with star forward and vice-captain Domenico Berardi currently out injured, compiling the recent woe on De Zerbi.
As a result, Sassuolo currently sit eighth in the table but just two points below fifth-placed Atalanta, and they will be licking their lips at the prospect of facing relegation-threatened Parma, who are winless in eight, on a five-game losing run, and have fired blanks in six of their last eight outings.
- Sassuolo (vs SPAL): Pegolo; Muldur, Marlon, Peluso, Rogerio; Lopez, Obiang*; Oddei, Duricic, Boga; Raspadori.
- Parma (vs Lazio): Sepe; Osorio, Alves, Valenti, Busi; Hernani*, Brugman, Kurtic; Sohm, Gervinho, Cornelius.
Pedro Obiang is suspended for this match after the former West Ham midfielder picked up a straight red card in the defeat to Juventus for his challenge on Federico Chiesa, in which he later took to social media to apologise for.
First of all I would like to apologize because I made a mistake in the game that cost my team. I never wanted to leave the team down to 10 men and I also send my wishes to Federico Chiesa 🙏🏿. Forza Sassuolo 💚🖤
— Pedro Mba Obiang (@Obiang14) January 10, 2021
Elsewhere, talismanic forward Domenico Berardi remains sidelined, as does Filippo Romagna. Parma meanwhile have quite the extensive casualty list, with Simone Iacoponi, Alberto Grassi, Alberto Grassi, Yordan Osorio, Yann Karamoh, Vincent Laurini, Riccardo Gagliolo all out of action, while Hernani is suspended.
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Players to watch:
- Sassuolo: If you have been keeping up to date with the latest transfer news then you may have seen Manuel Locatelli’s name bandied about quite a bit. The Italian midfielder has been most recently linked with a move to Manchester City, a club who boast a certain Pep Guardiola at the helm, a manager who knows a thing or two about central midfielders. Locatelli’s links to the Etihad have been more than justified this season, as the Milan academy graduate has been utterly breathtaking. He is one of just four players with more than 1,000 passes in Serie A this term and leads the charts on 1,331, which is over 100 more than second on that list: teammate Gian Marco Ferrari. With passing stats that outrageous it is no wonder Guardiola has been linked with a move, and he should have a field day controlling the game against Parma, a club who average the fifth-worst possession in Serie A this term (45.2%).
- Parma: If the Crusaders are to pull off the unthinkable and end their barren run against one of Serie A’s more impressive units this season then they will need a spark of inspiration, and one player capable of producing that is former Arsenal winger, Gervinho. The 33-year-old has attempted the most dribbles in the opposition box in Serie A this season (15) and will look to unsettle the Sassuolo backline when slaloming forward. On his day he can produce that moment of magic, and D’Aversa will be hoping that moment materialises this weekend.
Serie A 2020/21 recent form:
- Sassuolo: LWLWL
- Parma: LLLLL
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