AS Roma and Sassuolo will cross swords on Sunday, September 12, at Stadio Olimpico in the third round of 2021/22 Serie A. The hosts enter the match with a perfect 2-0 record on the season, which should give them the needed morale boost as they look to improve their somewhat underwhelming 1-3-1 head-to-head record with the Black and Green.
AS Roma vs Sassuolo
When: Sunday, September 12 – 20:45 CEST
Where: Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Italy.
Weather: Clear, 23°C
Referee: Simone Sozza (ITA)
Jose Mourinho is enjoying quite a solid start to his campaign with AS Roma, having led I Giallorossi to two wins in the opening two rounds of the Serie A 2021/22 season. Still, their wins came against Fiorentina (3-1) and Salernitana (4-0), which isn’t too surprising and hardly something that deserves a huge celebration.
Sassuolo, meanwhile, took four points from their opening two rounds, with a win against Verona and a somewhat disappointing 0-0 draw against Sampdoria two weeks back. The Black and Green have since also played Cremonese in a friendly match and lost 0-2, granted; it was expected Sassuolo to take that game lightly.
Mourinho will have some of his key men back available, albeit not all will be 100% fit. Chris Smalling is set to return, but it’s questionable whether he has fully recovered from a tight injury while Nicolò Zaniolo has been passed fit after his second ACL rupture and is in a similar position to the ex-Manchester United defender.
Matias Vina will have to be cleared to play following his injury while on international duty with Uruguay. On a more positive note, Nicolo Zaniolo is available and ready after serving his suspension.
Although AS Roma’s squad isn’t fully ready, Mourinho can be happy with what his squad has produced so far – four straight wins at home and abroad across Serie A and the Europa Conference Cup qualifiers. What’s even more impressive is that I Giallorossi managed a 12-2 aggregate score across their four competitive matches on the season.
It’s easy to overreact to early success, so we should keep our expectations for AS Roma low; however, Roma have certainly improved under the guidance of the Special One. As we look at this match, it’s also worth pointing out that Roma are undefeated at home across their last 10 outings (9-1-0) and have ended last term as the third-best home side of Serie A (13-4-2), with a +24 goal difference (42-18).
It might be interesting to know that Mourinho has never won his first five fixtures with any of the clubs he has coached throughout his illustrious career. He will surely want to change that in his 1000th game as a head coach in all competitions.
Sassuolo Eyeing Their Second W
Sassuolo travel to Rome with a 1-1 record on the season, including a 3-2 away victory against Verona and a 0-0 draw at home against Sampdoria. Not exactly the best start to the season, but the Black and Green can’t feel too disappointed with four points from two games.
For tonight, Sassuolo will be without Pedro Obiang, who remains sidelined with an injury, and will likely get replaced by Davide Frattesi. Alessio Dionisi could also look at the former Gremio signing Matheus Henrique as a potential replacement.
The biggest concern Sassuolo have had heading into the 2021/22 season was the departure of Francesco Caputo, who left for Sampdoria on loan after a fairly successful term with the Black and Green. The 34-year-old striker has produced 11 goals last season and will surely be missed in the final third.
Regardless, Dionisi has options in Gregoire Defrel, Gianluca Scamacca, and Giacomo Raspadori.The latter has scored his first goal of the season against Verona and is likely to start in Rome as the target man for his side.
AS Roma vs Sassuolo Betting Pick
AS Roma look stronger on paper, but with the injury-plagued squad, they won’t be as dominant as they perhaps should be. Playing at home indeed has its benefits, particularly for Moutinho’s side, who have been exceptional in Rome across their last 10, albeit we wouldn’t count out Sassuolo just yet.
The visitors have had a lot of success on the road of late, and are unbeaten in their last seven trips. That stretch includes six wins and only one draw against Lazio (1-1) in a friendly at the start of August.
Even though Sassuolo have not won in Rome once in their history, they have managed five draws across eight outings, including one from December 2020 (0-0). Neroverdi have a solid chance to make something happen against the weakened Roma and walk away from the match with at least a point in their pockets.
Prediction: Sassuolo +1.00 Asian Handicap – 1.88 at Sportmarket