Soccer Italy Serie A 7 March 2023
Sassuolo vs Cremonese - Match Preview
Sassuolo edged Lecce 1-0 last Saturday to make it three wins from their last five matches (D1, L1) and subsequently sit a comfortable ten points above the Serie A (SA) relegation zone before this round. Flashscore’s ‘Man of the Match from Saturday Domenico Berardi is suspended for this home game due to card accumulation, but the Neroverdi may still be cautiously optimistic of their chances even in his absence as they curiously boast a better win percentage without him (33%) than with him (27%) in the playing XI.
That alone won’t guarantee success though as Sassuolo has lost three of their last four home matches (W1) including a 2-0 defeat by table-toppers Napoli last time here. Despite their struggles, the hosts will be confident of getting back to scoring ways when Cremonese come to town as they found the net in all but one of their last 23 matches against newly-promoted sides.
Ironically, the exception came in the reverse H2H (0-0) against Cremonese, who is coming off a 2-1 win over Roma last Tuesday that ended the joint-longest winless streak (30) for any club in SA history! They now have won back-to-back top-flight matches in their sights for the first time since March 1996, which would be massive considering their situation in the drop zone.
Final output has been a concern for the visitors whose tally of 19 league goals is worse than all clubs bar Sampdoria, although there are signs of improvement with four across their last two games. Ultimately, Cremonese is still winless on the road this league campaign (D6, L6), but six draws across their last nine SA away games means they’re very capable of putting up a fight.
📋 Players to watch: Armand Laurienté missed the last game due to suspension so Sassuolo would love to see him score on his return, having won all four league games when he has netted. Whilst Cremonese’s Marco Benassi could be all-action once again if his record (G2, A2, YC4) across his ten previous SA H2Hs is anything to go by.
⚡ Hot stat: Cremonese have picked up the fewest points when scoring first this SA campaign (W1, D3, L1).
Torino vs Bologna - Match Preview
Not even a first Serie A (SA) goal from a corner this season could help Torino to a first win since 2015 against Juventus as their winless run extended to three matches (D1, L2). With the European places possibly extending down to seventh, Ivan Jurić’s men still have an outside chance of continental football next season, but they’ll need to get their act together soon or else the task of bridging the gap will become more unlikely every week.
Rather unconvincing home performances haven’t helped their quest for European football and somewhat characterise a misfiring Torino (W4, D4, L3), with only basement boys Sampdoria and Cremonese scoring less than their ten home SA goals this term. They may feel they run into an ideal opponent here then, as they’re currently on a 17 top-flight home game scoring run against Bologna stretching back to 1980, only losing three times (W10, D4, L3)!
Four wins in their last five SA matches (L1), including a 1-0 victory over top-three hopefuls Inter last time out, staked Bologna’s claim as a serious European football contender. Starting the round just six points away from top six marks a notable improvement for the Rossoblù, as the last time they had more points at this stage in SA was back in 2001/02 when they went on to finish seventh and seal qualification into the Intertoto Cup.
The mood has certainly been lifted at Bologna on the back of their recent uptick in form, with coach Thiago Motta insisting he saw his squad ‘play with a smile’ as they celebrated a tenth seasonal SA victory, nine of those coming in Motta’s tenure (D2, L7). The visitors can boldly try to add another one here, and considering they’re unbeaten in all five away league matches against teams starting this round ninth or lower (W4, D1), with all four wins coming via a 2-1 scoreline, you wouldn’t bet against them doing so.
📋 Players to watch: Antonio Sanabria enjoys playing against Bologna, avoiding defeat in five personal meetings (W2, D3) and scoring in both wins. Netting in wins has become a habit for Riccardo Orsolini, who has scored in each of Bologna‘s last four triumphs, three times after the 75th minute just as he did here last term.
⚡ Hot stat: Torino has seen over 2.5 goals scored in a joint-league-low two home matches.
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