MX23RW : Saturday, December 5 05:04:11| >> :120:34905:34905:
Oct 23, 2020 at 7.45pm UK at MAPEI Stadium - Città del Tricolore
Duricic (71'), Chiriches (84'), Caputo (85')
Ferrari (59'), Berardi (78')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Linetty (33'), Belotti (77'), Lukic (79')
Vojvoda (27'), Rincon (73')

Preview: Sassuolo vs. Torino - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday evening's Serie A clash between Sassuolo and Torino, including prediction, team news and possible lineups.

High-flying Sassuolo entertain pointless Torino at the Mapei Stadium, as Friday's opening clash of the Serie A weekend features two sides in polar opposite form.

The free-scoring hosts are on the coat tails of early leaders AC Milan, after their remarkable comeback win last week. In stark contrast, Marco Giampaolo's Torino are stuck in the doldrums - languishing last, with not a single point from their three games so far.

Match preview

Sassuolo manager Roberto De Zerbi pictured in July 2020© Reuters

Sassuolo's scintillating comeback - from 3-1 down away to Bologna, to win 4-3 - saw them continue their highly impressive start to the season. Three goals in just 13 minutes turned the Emilia-Romagna derby around.

It was a wide open affair between two attack-minded teams and the manner of victory will only serve to further boost the soaring confidence of Roberto De Zerbi's side. Their 10 points from four matches so far is a club record at this level.

Francesco Caputo and Domenico Berardi have been the pairing at the forefront of the Neroverdi's early-season surge. They have now become integral not only to Sassuolo but also within the Italian national squad, as proven by their goalscoring exploits for the Azzurri during the recent international period.

Caputo - top scorer in the league with four goals - has been involved in the most Serie A goals since lockdown was lifted (17 in total - 12 goals and five assists). Berardi, meanwhile, has already scored three times this season and has a record of eight goals and six assists since football's return.

Up to 1,000 season ticket holders have been permitted to attend Friday's game by the Emilia-Romagna regional authorities, and they will surely be expecting the net to bulge on more than one occasion, as their in-form team look to take advantage of the visitors' problems.

The ever-present spectre of COVID-19 loomed large over Torino's weekend defeat at home to Cagliari, as the Granata confirmed another new case just hours before kick-off - this coming just as they had begun to see several first-teamers return to the fold post-quarantine.

Marco Giampaolo in charge of Torino in September 2020© Reuters

A further four cases have since been confirmed and the club's players have now entered a pre-match 'isolation bubble' in the training facility at Stadio Filadelfia.

The team are expected to train and stay in a hotel there until Sunday, without being able to return home. They will undergo several tests before Friday's match to monitor any further spread of the virus.

Inter Milan youth product Federico Bonazzoli formed a new partnership with Andrea Belotti in the unexpected absence of first-choice striker Simone Zaza last week.

Despite Belotti's best efforts, Torino fell to another defeat - this time to Cagliari - as defensive errors allowed the visiting side's striker Giovanni Simeone to net twice, effectively cancelling out Belotti's brace.

Consecutive home defeats to Atalanta, in late September, then - after several weeks of inactivity - to fellow strugglers Cagliari, mean that any sense of momentum is sorely lacking in the Torino camp. Marco Giampaolo will already be feeling the strain should they fail to take something home from this difficult fixture.

None of the last eight matches between the clubs has resulted in a win for the visiting side. Their win in the most recent meeting, in January, was the first Sassuolo home triumph in this fixture in eleven attempts, and few would bet against them repeating that result this time.

Sassuolo Serie A form: DWWW

Torino Serie A form: LLL

Team News

Jeremie Boga pictured for Sassuolo in October 2019© Reuters

Sassuolo winger Jeremie Boga - much in demand during the transfer window - will most likely start from the bench as Hamed Traore and Filip Djuricic continue.

Francesco Magnanelli and Gregoire Defrel, who remained on the sidelines at the Dall'Ara last week, are also pushing for some game time.

De Zerbi will consider the possible involvement of ex-Celtic defender Jeremy Toljan - still to return from quarantine - whose fitness will be assessed. Therefore Mert Muldur and Giorgios Kyriakopoulos, who recently made his Greece debut, will fill the full-back roles.

For Torino, Marco Giampaolo generally prefers some variation of 4-3-1-2 and is expected to persist with such a setup.

Bonazzoli should again start up front alongside Belotti, while either Sasa Lukic and Simone Verdi prompt from behind. Once again, Tomas Rincon is expected to start in midfield, with Soualiho Meite and former Sampdoria man Karol Linetty.

Sassuolo possible starting lineup:
Consigli; Muldur, Chiriches, Ferrari, Kyriakopoulos; Bourabia, Locatelli; Berardi, Djuricic, Traore; Caputo

Torino possible starting lineup:
Sirigu; Vojvoda, Nkoulou, Lyanco, Rodriguez; Meite, Rincon, Linetty; Lukic; Bonazzoli, Belotti

SM words green background

We say: Sassuolo 2-1 Torino

With both sides featuring in-form Azzurri forwards, it is unlikely that this Serie A weekend opener will end goalless. Belotti, Berardi and Caputo should all fancy their chances of notching another one or two in the capocannoniere race.

It is the Sassuolo pair, however, who have the better foundation of a settled side and some defensive resilience behind them. With that in mind, it should be the hosts who pile further misery upon their hapless opponents.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data


Who will win Friday evening's Serie A encounter between Sassuolo and Torino?

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Udinese manager Luca Gotti pictured in July 2020
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