Sassuolo extended their unbeaten streak to four games (W2, D2) after drawing 2-2 with Udinese despite giving up the fastest Serie A (SA) goal of the current season in just 25 seconds. While that unbeaten streak is already their joint-longest of the season, extending it today against the league’s clear leaders Napoli would be difficult, though their talismanic captain Domenico Berardi may at least be available despite suffering an injury last time out.
In their most recent home game, the Neroverdi defeated high-flying Atalanta 1-0. They also defeated defending champions AC Milan 5-2 at the San Siro during their amazing run. The Neroverdi have already shown they can handle the underdog label effectively. Nonetheless, it seems difficult for Sassuolo to pull off another shock given that they have only won one of their last 15 head-to-head matches (D6, L8), including two crushing losses by a combined score of 10-1 in their previous two such encounters.
With 59 points after 22 matches—the fewest in the three points for a win era Napoli have only been surpassed by Inter and Juventus, who both had 60 points at this point following their most recent 3-0 thrashing of Cremonese. Eljif Elmas, a substitute, scored their third goal in that Cremonese triumph, which stands as their 12th goal this season, showing the strength of the entire team.
Coach Luciano Spalletti of Napoli should not be concerned about complacency creeping into his team considering they have won each of their eight SA matches against sides currently sitting 15th or below, with seven of those victories coming by two or more goals. Spalletti compliments his team by saying that their “players are ready to destroy themselves for a result.”
Observe these players: Sassuolo’s Matheus Henrique, who has scored both of his South African career goals over the past three games, may once more step up to the plate in the absence of Armand Laurienté. Elmas of Napoli has now scored six goals in the league this season, matching his total from his previous three league seasons combined!
Only one of Sassuolo’s five SA home games against teams currently ranked in the top six included more than two goals.