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Sassuolo would have sunk without trace had it not been for Domenico Berardi’s goal in Italian Serie A last season and it is likely to find life difficult during the striker’s three-game suspension that starts against Sampdoria.
Berardi scored 16 goals, including a Italian Serie A-leading three hat-tricks, for Sassuolo last term, goals that proved priceless to his team. Berardi was responsible for scoring more than 37 per cent of Sassuolo’s Italian Serie A goals and he had a hand in setting up many of the others as the promoted side finished one place above the drop zone.
On loan from Juventus for the second season running, Berardi watched Sassuolo from the stands five times during its last Italian Serie A campaign and his teammates scored just four goals in those matches, with three of them coming in a home victory over relegated Catania. Berardi is far and away the most talented Sassuolo player and, therefore, one wants to oppose the Neroverdi while he is serving his lengthy ban for elbowing Internazionale defender Juan Jesus last weekend.
Sassuolo was losing 0-5 at Internazionale at the time that Berardi had his brain snap so his red card did not influence the outcome of that Italian Serie A game. But Sassuolo will miss him badly versus Sampdoria, Fiorentina and Napoli as it strives to stay off the foot of the Italian Serie A ladder.
Sampdoria visits Sassuolo having brought an end to Torino’s impressive nine-match Italian Serie A unbeaten run. Manolo Gabbiadini and Stefano Okaka scored either side of half time as Sampdoria posted a 2-0 home win to move into fifth place on the Italian Serie A ladder. Sampdoria beat Sassuolo 2-1 on the road in last term’s Italian Serie A and it was a bit unlucky to lose the reverse fixture 3-4 – Berardi scored one of his three hat-tricks, including two goals from penalty kicks, as Samp toiled with 10 men for the last 40 minutes.
Some bookmakers have installed Sampdoria as the favourite for its Italian Serie A game at Sassuolo. Other boomakers, including 888sport, BetVictor and Unibet, have not put the away team on top, quoting the visitor at odds of +180 .
Roma did not miss a beat without midfielder Daniele De Rossi in its UEFA Champions League crushing of CSKA Mosvka and it gets back the Italy international for its Italian Serie A home match against a Cagliari side that is still getting to grips with how attack-crazy Zdenek Zeman wants it to play.
Over-two-and-a-half-goal punters love Zeman-coached teams and Boylesports is likely to do plenty of business at odds of -167 . However, one prefers backing Roma simply to win the Italian Serie A game at odds of -278 with Sky Bet. Roma’s home record in recent times is phenomenal – it was unbeaten in 21 home matches across all competitions until Juventus scored in the dying moments of their Italian Serie A clash in May – and Cagliari’s away record is quite the opposite.
Finally, Internazionale is a side on the up and odds of +105 with Totesport and William Hill about it beating promoted Palermo are too good to ignore. One was expecting odds-on quotes for Internazionale, which had not conceded a goal in its five games across all competitions prior to its UEFA Europa League away match versus Dnipro on Thursday.
Nothing that Palermo has shown its first two Italian Serie A games – a 1-1 home draw against Sampdoria and a 1-2 away loss versus Verona – points to it being another other than relegation material. Internazionale, on the other hand, has its sights set on UEFA Champions League qualification.
Roma to beat Cagliari
21st September 14:00 GMT
Where to Bet: Sky Bet
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