Juventus
    Juventus
      27.10.2015 16:00 - in: Serie A S

      Ten things to know about #SassuoloJuve

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      With the Bianconeri set for a third ever visit to the Mapei Stadium, Juventus.com identifies ten points to ponder ahead of Wednesday evening’s encounter at the home of the Neroverdi
      1. No place like home

      Sassuolo enter this encounter unbeaten in their last seven games at the Mapei Stadium and will look to add to their record of scoring in their third consecutive home fixture against Juventus.

      However, they will have to do so without the man who found the target on both of the previous occasions: Simone Zaza. The Italy international, currently on the books of the Old Lady, netted 20 goals in 64 Serie A appearances for the Neroverdi.

      Of all four meetings between these two sides, the Bianconeri have enjoyed the upper hand, winning three and drawing just the once last October.

      2. The only way is up

      The Neroverdi are a side that, along with Chievo (+8) and Atalanta (+6), have improved greatly on their points total from this stage last season (+5) and even more so on their maiden Serie A campaign two years ago (+9).

      After going unbeaten for 11 games, Sassuolo have lost two of their last three outings, but had to play with ten men for a whole hour in their most recent defeat to Milan.

      3. Fearsome frontmen

      Juventus have had the highest number of shots this season (171) and 101 more than their opponents this Wednesday, but nevertheless Sassuolo have scored 12 goals to the Bianconeri’s 11 so far due to their superior cutting edge: 53 per cent of their efforts have been on target – the best in Serie A, while they boast the third-highest shot to goal ratio in the division (17 per cent).

      Only Chievo (five) are more lethal than the Neroverdi (four) with strikes from outside the box in open play and only Roma (ten) have netted more often in the first halves of matches this term, Sassuolo managing eight goals before the break.

      Antonio Floro Flores is the side’s top scorer having found the target three times and provided two assists, although the striker has failed to make any such contributions on the attacking front in the last five league encounters.

      4. Pegolo between the posts

      After Andrea Consigli’s sending-off against Milan, Gianluca Pegolo played his first 60 minutes of the season at the San Siro.

      It was not the happiest of afternoons for the 34-year-old former Genoa and Siena stopper, however, as he conceded two goals in Sassuolo’s second reverse of 2015/16.

      5. Set piece setbacks

      Sassuolo have conceded on four occasions from corners – a league record shared with Empoli – the last of which saw Luiz Adriano grab a late winner for Milan at the San Siro, leading Eusebio Di Francesco to say his team would work to improve on this aspect of their game.

      Massimiliano Allegri’s men may look to exploit this particular weakness on Wednesday evening, but the Bianconeri, along with Carpi, are the only Serie A sides not to have scored from corners or free-kicks this season.

      6. Offside is no trap

      Sassuolo’s strikers are all on the same wavelength and one interesting indicator of this fact is that they have been caught offside just 11 times this season, less than any other side.

      Sassuolo vary up their frontline in the last three outings
      7. A ‘never say die’ attitude

      The Neroverdi have come back to claim eight points from losing positions so far this term, more than any other top tier team.

      Juventus, meanwhile, have registered a total four points after initially going behind, but zero on the road.

      8. A return to Reggio Emilia

      Allegri coached the Neroverdi in 2007/08, guiding them to promotion into Serie B, and he has found the club as competitive as ever in recent Reggio Emilia meetings following their promotion to Italy’s top tier in 2013.

      The Tuscan tactician’s final match at the helm of Milan was at the Mapei Stadium in January 2014, which the hosts won 4-3.

      Meanwhile, Sassuolo were the first team to take points off the Bianconeri last season, the 1-1 draw bringing to an end Juventus’ six wins in a row at the start of 2014/15.

      9. Danger from all corners

      As many as eight players have found the target for Sassuolo this year, the second highest number of different goalscorers of all Serie A sides.

      In addition to strikes by forwards Flores (three), Domenico Berardi (two), Gregoire Defrel (two), Sergio Floccari (one) and Nicola Sansone (one), midfielders Francesco Magnanelli, Matteo Politano and Simone Missiroli have also notched one apiece.

      10. The key men and manouevres

      Magnanelli is quite simply a key cog in the middle of the park, having completed the most passes (507), especially in the attacking half (237). The 30-year-old also offers great protection to the backline and has made more tackles (25) than any of his team-mates, while intercepting 31 opposition balls so far this season.

      When it comes to creating the play, Missiroli is the main distributor in the opponents’ half (272 passes) and the 29-year-old often likes to play in right-back Sime Vrsaljko, whose bombing runs forward and crosses allow Sassuolo’s strikers to swing into action in the penalty area.

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