Italian Serie A - Sassuolo vs Juventus Preview

Friday, February 8th, 2019

By Jonathan Willis
Italian Serie A Sassuolo vs Juventus Preview

Juventus are closing in on a record eighth straight Serie A title. The Italian giants have yet to lose this season, and they are nine points ahead of Napoli in their hunt for their 35th scudetto. They are an astonishing 20 points ahead of third place Internazionale, and the fact that you could get them at -200 to win the Serie A title at the start of the season looks laughable in retrospect considering their additions. Juventus will look to keep it going this Sunday when they travel to face Sassuolo.

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Sassuolo vs. Juventus

  • Date and Time: February 10, 2019, 12 p.m. ET
  • Location: Stadio Citta del Tricolore, Reggio Emilia, Italy
  • US Television Coverage: ESPN2
  • Betting Line: Juventus -1, O/U 2.5 and 3

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Recent Form

Coming into this game, Sassuolo are in 11th place in the table. However, Sassuolo are very close to moving from a mid-table club to a team threatening for a spot in European play. They are just six points behind fifth place AC Milan, and they have grabbed three straight results in league play. The Watermelon Rind went on the road and grabbed draws against teams higher in the table in Internazionale and Genoa, and they crushed bottom of the table Cagliari 3-0 the last time they played in the Tricolore.

Even though Juventus are 19-3-0 and on a record-setting pace, they haven’t been as incredibly overpowering as you might think. They have secured numerous results in the waning minutes of matches, and they aren’t going to secure a domestic double for the first time in five years after falling 3-0 to Atalanta in the quarterfinals of Coppa Italia. In their last two league matches, Juventus needed to score two goals in the final 16 minutes to knock off Lazio, and they blew a two-goal lead twice against Parma to settle for a 3-3 draw last weekend.

Key Absences

Giorgino Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli have been ruled out due to injury for Juventus. Chiellini could return from a calf injury as soon as next week though, while Barzagli will be out a few more weeks with a thigh injury. Douglas Costa and Mehdi Benatia are both questionable due to thigh injuries, while Leonardo Bonucci and Leonardo Spinazzola are questionable with ankle injuries.

Sassuolo won’t have Alfred Duncan for this match due to yellow card accumulation. They also won’t have Francesco Magnanelli for at least one match longer as he recovers from a thigh injury. Stefano Sensi, Marlon Santos de Silva Barbosa, Leonardo Sernicola, and Jens Odgaard are all questionable.

Sassuolo Player to Watch

Khouma Babacar is likely to have his option picked up by Sassuolo at the end of the season. Babacar has been with the club since Sassuolo acquired him on loan from Fiorentina last January, and he leads the team with six goals so far this year. He scored a brilliant header against Juventus in their first meeting in mid-September, and he will be out to break through again.

Juventus Player to Watch

Cristiano Ronaldo broke his scoring drought against Sassuolo earlier in the year, and he is now the league leader in goals. Ronaldo has fired home 17 goals this season, and he is likely to finish as Italy’s top scorer. However, he takes a ton of shots. His 107 shots are 41 more than anyone else in Serie A, and his love of shooting has kept this attack from being as fluid as it could be.

Sassuolo vs. Juventus Free Picks

Juventus put this team together to win the Champions League. With the first leg of their quarterfinal tilt with Atletico Madrid on the horizon this Wednesday, I think their veteran stars may receive a bit of rest and so I like the under and the draw.

Sassuolo vs. Juventus Prediction: Juventus 1, Sassuolo 1

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