SASSUOLO grabbed their first three points of the season on Saturday, downing Parma 3-1 on their travels. Back on home soil, can the hosts record consecutive Serie A wins? Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) examines the best bets…
Sassuolo v Empoli | Tuesday 19.45 | BT Sport 2
Sassuolo coach Eusebio Di Francesco was delighted with his side after their weekend win at Parma. Goals from Sergio Floccari, Francesco Acerbi and Saphir Taider handed the Nervoverdi their first win of the season at the Stadio Ennio Tardini and lifted Di Francesco’s side out of the relegation zone.
Previously, Sassuolo had become the first Serie A club to avoid defeat against Juventus this season and marks an excellent fortnight for Di Francesco’s side. The 45-year-old was delighted his side continued the momentum from the Juve result into Saturday’s convincing win and now the Nervoverdi are looking forward to the visit of Empoli on Tuesday night.
It’s been a tough start for the hosts, especially in their four fixtures at their Mapei Stadium home in neighbouring Reggio Emilia. After holding Cagliari to a 1-1 draw on the opening day, Sass have also faced Napoli (0-1), high-flying Sampdoria (0-0) and Juve (1-1).
Since winning promotion to Italy’s top tier for the first time last season, results at the Mapei haven’t been an overwhelming success. The Nervoverdi have lost 13/23 (57%) and only managed five wins. But look a little closer at those results and they tend to make a decent fist of things against similar sides towards the wrong end of the table.
Bar losing to Livorno in their first home match at this level in 2013/14, only Chievo came away from the Mapei with maximum points from the bottom-six, with three of Sassolo’s five wins coming against those bottom-six rivals.
Empoli arrive without a win on the road and only managed two victories away to top-half sides when winning promotion from Serie B last season. But it’s worth noting too, they’ve suffered just the one defeat on their travels in Serie A with three of their four games ending all square.
Sassuolo just aren’t reliable enough to touch at 5/4 (Coral) whilst Empoli’s weekend result (hammered 4-0 at home to Cagliari) puts me off siding with the visitors, which leaves us with the draw. Skybet make the stalemate a 12/5 shot but we can boost this price to 7/2 by backing the Draw and Both Teams To Score with BetVictor. Two of Sassuolo’s four home games so far this season would have seen punters collect whilst four of Empoli’s last six matches have ended in score draws too.
It might also be worth a small stab on Empoli scoring a first-half goal at 6/4 with Coral. Since promotion to Serie A, Sassuolo have conceded before the interval in 16/23 (70%) fixtures at the Mapei, including three of their four outings this term.