Juventus vs Sassuolo: Match preview
After a great 1-0 win courtesy of a Gonzalo Higuain strike in the first leg of their TIM Cup semi-final away to Atalanta, Juve continue to aim to displace Napoli at the top of Serie A. With the Partenopi still one point clear for another successive week, despite the Bianconeri temporarily leading the standings after last Saturday’s win over Chievo Verona.
It proved to be an eventful game as the hosts were reduced to nine men following Samuel Bastien two yellow cards within two first half minutes and Fabrizio Cacciatore’s straight red in the second half. Juve were able to capitalise on the man advantage and opened the scoring in the 67th minute through a well-worked goal from Sami Khedira to go in front. The Old Lady made the game safe two minutes from time when Gonzalo Higuain got on the end of Douglas Costa’s precise cross to head home and seal a 2-0 victory for Juve.
SASSUOLO LOOKING TO CONSOLIDATE
Since the arrival of former Palermo coach, Giuseppe Iachini on 27 November the club has seen an upturn in fortunes, winning four of Iachini’s nine games in charge and drawing two, including a win against Inter and a draw away at Roma.
In the recently closed January transfer window, the Neroverdi acquired right-back Pol Lirola from Juventus on a permanent basis after the Spanish defender had been there on loan. Their other most notable acquisition came in the form of striker, Khouma Babacar as the Senegalese striker joined on loan from Fiorentina until the end of the season, with Diego Falcinelli going the other way.
Their last game saw them host Juve’s TIM Cup semi-final opponents, Atalanta, who defeated Sassuolo by three goals to nil at home. Andrea Masiello put the visitors ahead on 30 minutes, before goals in the final 10 minutes of the match from Bryan Cristante and Remo Freuler sealed the win, as Edoardo Goldaniga saw red for two bookings in stoppage time for Sassuolo.
LAST TIME VS SASSUOLO
La Vecchia Signora were triumphant when they played away to Sassuolo on Matchday four, winning 3-1 at the Mapei Stadium. Paulo Dybala put Juve ahead with a splendid first-time strike in the 16th minute, before doubling the lead with a deft flick in the first few minutes of the second half. Matteo Politano pulled a goal back for the hosts just two minutes later, but Juve weren’t to be denied as Dybala scored a stunning free-kick to score his second road hat-trick of the campaign and ensure that all three points were coming back to Turin.
#JUVESASSUOLO MATCH STATS
- Sassuolo have never won at the Allianz Stadium, losing each one of their four attempts.
- The Neroverdi haven’t scored a direct free-kick in Serie A since Nicola Sansone’s winner at the Mapei against Juve in 2015.
- Juve have only conceded once in their last 14 games played in all competitions, keeping a cleansheet in their last five.
- The Bianconeri have scored the most goals from outside the area this season (nine), whilst Sassuolo have scored the least (one).
- Sassuolo are the only side who have yet to concede a goal in the opening 15 minutes of play.
- Higuain has been on the field for a total of 1778 thus far, the most used player by Allegri in Serie A.
- Massimiliano Allegri has won seven out of seven matches played against Giuseppe Iachini sides.
- Allegri has won five of the previous eight matches against Sassuolo, drawing once and losing twice.
- 5.1 successful dribbles from Douglas Costa is a record in Serie A amongst players to have registered at least 300 total minutes.
- In his last four matches against Sassuolo, Higuain has contributed to six goals against them (five goals, one assist).