JUVENTUS V SASSUOLO
Italy Serie A
Today’s GOTD pick comes from Turin, and the Allianz Stadium, as Juventus host Sassuolo in a Sunday evening Serie A blockbuster. The league is proving to be one of the most competitive in Europe so far, with 4 sides all realistically chasing the Scudetto, and a further 5 all vying for the remaining European places.
Juve are the lowest of the 4 main challengers, 7 points behind league leaders AC Milan — albeit with a game in hand. With 8 wins, 6 draws and just the 1 loss, Andrea Pirlo’s side have racked up 30 points from their opening 15 games. Juve’s low point came in their only defeat of the season — 3–0 at home to Fiorentina — just before Christmas, compounding an inconsistent start which has been showered with too many stalemates.
They have bounced back emphatically, however, winning both their games in 2021 and scoring 7 in the process, including their magnificent 3–1 win away to AC Milan on Wednesday.
Roberto De Zerbi’s Sassuolo side also enjoyed their midweek fixture, winning 2–1 at home to Genoa. That win however, was the most recent of just 3 wins in their last 8 games — a spell which has seen them drop points against Roma, Atalanta and both Milan sides. Sassuolo are in 5th, on 29 points, and whilst they are only 1 point behind their Scudetto chasing hosts, their season goals will always centre around European qualification instead of any serious title challenge.
the Neroverdi will be hoping for a better performance on their travels, after falling victim to a 5–1 drubbing at the hands of fellow European challengers Atalanta.
With two of the league’s more prolific sides coming together in Turin, it’s fair to expect an exciting game tonight.
Pirlo’s Juve side are averaging 2.13 goals per game form an xG/90 of 2.05. At home their numbers drop slightly, averaging 1.86 goals per game from an xG/90 of 2.02. The Old Lady have scored in all but one of their matches this season, scoring 2+ goals in 9 of their 15 games.
Their forward thinking football has lead to problems at the back, however. Whilst their average concession of 1.00 goals per game — from an xGA/90 of 0.94— is far from undesirable, the Italian giants are struggling to completely nullify their opposition, with just 3 clean sheets all season. They have only conceded more than once on 2 occasions all season, and kept a potent Milan attack to just the 1 during the week, but there is undeniable weakness in a once impenetrable defence.
In providing that penetration, there a few sides more exciting in the league than Sassuolo, especially on their travels. With total match goals averaging 3.63 (2.13 for and 1.50 against) from an xG/90 of 3.32, De Zerbi’s side, more often than not, produce some mouthwatering away days. Both home and away, they have scored in each of their last 6 games, and have only failed to score in 3 games all season — they even managed to save last week’s tips to nick a goal in their collapse at Atalanta.
Their performances against their close rivals, however, has been cause for concern. Whilst free-scoring against bottom half sides such as Sampdoria (3–2) Bologne (4–3) Spezia and Crotone (both 4–1), when playing against sides currently in the top 5, they are yet to win, receiving just 1 point from a possible 12 with a 0–0 draw at Roma. They have also only scored twice in those 4 games, drawing a blank against Roma and Inter.
Medium Risk Tip — BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE @ 1.70 [7/10]: This looks a good looker as just under evens. Both sides have found the net in the majority of their games (93% of the time for Juve and 81% for Sassuolo), and both sides have proven equally leaky at the back. Both games last season ended in high scoring draws (3–3 and 2–2), and both are coming in to the game on the back of important victories.
Higher Risk Tip —JUVENTUS TO WIN & OVER 3.5 GOALS @ 2.60 [8/5]: Pirlo’s side will be flying on the back of their win against Milan, and have proven their potency in front of goal even against the better sides. Sassuolo, whilst dominant against the lesser sides, have shown their inferiority over the league’s titans, and are regularly shipping goals, averaging 2.5 goals conceded in games against Roma, Atalanta and both Milan sides.