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Roma logo
Serie A | Gameweek 26
Mar 12, 2023 at 5pm UK
Stadio Olimpico
Sassuolo logo

3 - 4

Zalewski (26'), Dybala (50'), Wijnaldum (90+4')
Smalling (9'), Matic (54'), Ibanez (73'), Camara (86')
Kumbulla (45+2')
FT(HT: 1-3)
Lauriente (13', 18'), Berardi (45+4' pen.), Pinamonti (75')
Lopez (50'), Ruan (58')

Preview: Roma vs. Sassuolo - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Serie A clash between Roma and Sassuolo, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Two of Serie A's form sides convene at Stadio Olimpico on Sunday, as top-four contenders Roma host a Sassuolo side reborn in 2023.

While the Giallorossi followed up victory over Juventus with a midweek win in Europe, their visitors have won six of their last eight league games.

Match preview

Roma's Stephan El Shaarawy celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on March 9, 2023© Reuters

After suffering a shock defeat to lowly Cremonese at the end of last month, Roma's start to March has more than made up for such an aberration, as success at home to Juventus set the stage for Thursday's 2-0 win in the Europa League.

Following Gianluca Mancini's wonderstrike to beat Juve, Jose Mourinho's men reverted to more familiar means against Real Sociedad, with Marash Kumbulla heading in from Paulo Dybala's corner to record another set-piece strike for the Romans.

Stephan El Shaarawy had been brought into the side by Mourinho and duly scored the opener in the teams' last-16 tie, during which Andrea Belotti and La Real's Take Kubo also hit the woodwork.

Having secured a vital first-leg lead while racking up yet another clean sheet, the Giallorossi will travel to San Sebastian next week expecting to seal a place in the quarter-final draw; continuing a run of continental success stretching back to last year's Conference League triumph.

Last week, Roma recorded a ninth one-goal win in Serie A this season - the joint-most in the division alongside Inter - as Mourinho's imprint grows ever larger at the Olimpico, and despite sometimes struggling for fluency they have also found the net in each of their last 12 league games.

They could now post their longest such streak for the first time since a run of 21 under Luciano Spalletti six years ago. That would surely help a side chasing Champions League qualification improve their recent record against Sunday's visitors: Roma have lost only one of 19 previous meetings with Sassuolo, but have won just one of the last six.

Sassuolo's Davide Frattesi celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on January 29, 2023© Reuters

Given some much-improved form since the start of the year, Sassuolo may fancy their chances of going unbeaten against Roma for only the second season since reaching Serie A: they drew 1-1 in November's reverse fixture.

Rome-born midfielder Davide Frattesi will be anticipating this week's fixture more than most, and the Italy international was on target against rock-bottom Cremonese last time out, as the Neroverdi survived a comeback to win 3-2 through Nedim Bajrami's stoppage-time strike.

After breathing a sigh of relief, having seen his side let a two-goal lead slip, coach Alessio Dionisi could reflect on a record of four wins from six, kicked off by their remarkable 5-2 thumping of Milan at San Siro.

Throughout Sassuolo's last eight league fixtures, they have only lost to Scudetto favourites Napoli, who are the sole side to have posted more points during that spell.

Having maximised their haul against promoted clubs Lecce and Cremonese, the Emilian club could now equal their longest winning run under Dionisi, who guided them to 11th place last season after picking up the reins from Roberto De Zerbi.

Following a sluggish start, his resurgent team are showing signs of being able to match that finish in June, but one of their toughest challenges awaits in the Eternal City this weekend.

Roma Serie A form:

Roma form (all competitions):

Sassuolo Serie A form:

Team News

Roma's Lorenzo Pellegrini walks off the pitch after sustaining an injury on March 9, 2023© Reuters

Roma captain Lorenzo Pellegrini is ruled out of Sunday's game by a head injury sustained against Real Sociedad, so the former Sassuolo midfielder could be replaced by versatile forward Stephan El Shaarawy, with Leonardo Spinazzola coming in on the left flank.

Roger Ibanez is poised for a return to the back three, after January signing Diego Llorente made his full debut against his old club, while Georginio Wijnaldum is also a contender to start as Bryan Cristante serves a suspension.

In attack, Paulo Dybala - who scored his only Serie A hat-trick not featuring a penalty against Sassuolo back in 2017 - aims to avoid going three league games in a row without either a goal or assist for the first time this year.

Meanwhile, Andrea Belotti - yet to score in the league this season - is sidelined by a wrist injury, and Ola Solbakken also remains unavailable to Jose Mourinho.

After serving a suspension on Monday, Sassuolo's star man Domenico Berardi returns to action in Rome, and Gregoire Defrel should make way for the Italy winger in the visitors' attacking trident.

On the left of that trio, against Cremonese, Armand Lauriente scored his fifth direct free-kick in league football over the last three seasons: only Southampton's James Ward-Prowse (11) has bagged more throughout Europe's top five leagues during the same period.

Alessio Dionisi has a full squad to choose from, as defensive duo Jeremy Toljan and Mert Muldur return to the fold following injury.

Roma possible starting lineup:
Patricio; Mancini, Smalling, Ibanez; Zalewski, Wijnaldum, Bove, Spinazzola; El Shaarawy, Dybala; Abraham

Sassuolo possible starting lineup:
Consigli; Zortea, Erlic, Ruan, Rogerio; Frattesi, Obiang, Henrique; Berardi, Pinamonti, Lauriente

SM words green background

We say: Roma 1-1 Sassuolo

Perhaps running out of steam amid a hectic fixture list - and with one eye on their trip to Spain next week - Roma could slip up against a club they have recently struggled to beat. Sassuolo are back to something like their fearless best so should expect to breach their hosts' miserly back line.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:curl

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