Since their promotion into Serie A last season, Sassuolo have yet to win a match against Udinese losing by a goal in their two meetings last season, 2-1 and 1-0, respectively. However, despite this and the fact that Sassuolo only have two home wins this season, the Neroverdi may have the upper-hand on the Zebrette this time around.
With Sassuolo one point and two places ahead on Udinese in the table, the two teams currently sit in 10th and 12th place, respectively. Additionally, the two teams are also meeting after both nearly crashed Twitter in their respective prior matches, but for two very different reasons.
Sassuolo had a positive reason: Simone Zaza scored a highlight reel worthy strike early in the second half of their match against Milan. The massive goal was the deciding factor that lead Sassuolo to win 2-1 at the San Siro.
Meanwhile earlier that same day, Udinese had a not-so-positive reason: a phantom goal from Roma’s Davide Astori. Controversy erupted around the ‘goal’ that was originally deemed ‘no goal’ by the linesman for not completely crossing the line, but ultimately reinstated by the referee. The final result was a 1-0 loss to the Giallorossi at the Stadio Friuli
To make matters worse, egos are not the only injury at Udinese; forwards Luis Muriel and Lucas Evangelista, along with midfielder Alexis Zapata, are all being observed for the game. Sassuolo will be doing the same for defenders Gianluca Pegolo, Thomas Manfredini, and Sime Vrsaljko, all who have been struggling with injury.
Additionally, both teams will also have players absent due to the African Cup of Nations; Sassuolo’s Saphir Taider will be representing Algeria, with Udinese’s Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu and Molla Wague representing Ghana and Mali, respectively, in the tournament.
Expected Starting XIs
Sassuolo: Consigli; Gazzola, Cannavaro, Acerbi, Peluso; Biondini, Magnanelli, Missiroli; Berardi, Zaza, Sansone
Udinese: Karnezis; Heurtaux, Danilo, Domizzi; Widmer, Kone, Guilherme, Allan, Gabriel Silva; Geijo, Di Natale