On Friday, Hellas Verona play Sassuolo at the Mapei Stadium in Reggio Emilia for Serie A. Verona’s strong start is in sharp contrast to previous year, when they had to win a play-in game to avoid relegation.
The uncertainty surrounding Domenico Berardi’s future has been at the center of Sassuolo’s shaky start. After Berardi announced his intention to quit Neroverdi, he was not included in the team for either of their first two games.
Berardi had been linked to Juventus, but the Bianconeri never submitted an offer before Sassuolo’s deadline, thus he is likely to remain with the club. The team led by Alessio Dionisi has struggled without him, losing their first two games in Serie A for the first time in ten years.
Dionisi witnessed his team get blown out by champions Napoli 2-0 last weekend, and then lost to Atalanta by the same score in the final seven minutes. Despite having finished ahead of Verona last season by a wide margin, the two teams are currently worlds apart due to the visitors’ stellar start.
Verona has won their first two games of the season for only the second time in their history in the top division. They did this once before, in the 1984–85 season, and went on to win the Scudetto that year.
That’s encouraging, but after barely escaping elimination last year, their chances of mounting a title campaign are low. A new rule in Serie A requires a relegation playout between any teams tied on points, even if one team has a greater goal difference than the other.
Cyril Ngonge is in excellent form heading into this weekend’s matchup after scoring twice in a 3-1 victory over Spezia at this very stadium in Reggio Emilia. Last week, his first-half goal and assist were significant factors in Hellas’ 2-1 victory over Roma.
Manager Marco Baroni will be hoping his team keeps up its strong performance on the road after opening the season with a 1-0 win away at Empoli. Last season, Verona earned just 10 of a possible 57 points away from home, good for second-worst in the division. This helped them avoid relegation by a hair.
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Sassuolo vs Hellas Verona Game Information
- Date: 09/01/2023
- Time: 12:30 PM ET
- Location: MAPEI Stadium – Città del Tricolore (Reggio Emilia).
- How to Watch Sassuolo vs Hellas Verona: ESPN+
- Live Stream: fubo.tv