Bologna vs Brescia
Stadio Renato Dell’Ara, Bologna
Saturday, 01-02-2020 @5pm
Bologna are without coach Sinisa Mihajlovic once more and it could affect their performance against Brescia in this relegation tussle.
Mihajlovic went back into hospital for anti-viral treatment and it’s not known how long he’ll be in there for, but he has not been able to prepare this match with his team during the week, nor will he be on the touchline on Saturday.
There are other issues for his staff to contend with too, as Takehiro Tomiyasu is suspended, joining injured Mitchell Dijks, Ladislav Krejci, Stefano Denswil and Gary Medel in the stands of the Stadio Dall’Ara. It leaves a shortage of defenders, so Neuhen Paz could be re-routed to left-back, with Mattia Bani returning from his ban in the centre.
Nicola Sansone is also available again after missing the 3-1 win away to SPAL through suspension. Despite scoring off the bench in that game, Musa Barrow is likely to again only be a substitute, with Rodrigo Palacio or Federico Santander as centre-forward.
Brescia are still missing their star striker, as Mario Balotelli sits out the second in his two-match ban for insulting the referee. Florian Aye was chosen to partner Ernesto Torregrossa in last week’s 1-0 home defeat to Milan and he is again expected to get the nod ahead of Alfredo Donnarumma. Romulo and Sandro Tonali pull the midfield strings, with January signing Simon Skrabb on the bench.
The Rondinelle are locked in a three-way tie at the foot of the table on 15 points with Genoa and SPAL.
Brescia drew their first ever Serie A trip to Bologna in 1930, followed by five wins and 13 defeats here.
Cagliari vs Parma
Sergdena Arena, Cagliari
Saturday, 01-02-2020 @8pm
The Parma injury crisis just keeps getting worse and this is an excellent opportunity for Cagliari to end their winless streak in a head-to-head for sixth place.
These teams go into the weekend locked together on 31 points, alongside Milan, so it feels like a six-pointer in the race for European qualification. That seemed unlikely pre-season for Parma, even more so considering how many players have been ruled out by long-term injury throughout the campaign. It’s not getting any better, as goalkeeper Luigi Sepe has joined the list – out for approximately a month – with Dejan Kulusevski, Gervinho, Roberto Inglese and Yann Karamoh all on the treatment table. Mattia Sprocati could therefore join Andreas Cornelius and makeshift attacker Jasmin Kurtic in the trident.
Simone Colombi is the second choice Parma goalkeeper, but Ionut Radu hopes to complete his move from Genoa – via parent club Inter – in time to make his debut.
Cagliari have a lengthy absentee list too, missing Alberto Cerri, Marko Rog, Daniele Ragatzu, Luca Ceppitelli, Federico Mattiello, Fabrizio Cacciatore and Leonardo Pavoletti. Alessio Cragno made his comeback in the more than creditable 1-1 draw away to Inter last week, his first appearance since shoulder surgery in August. Radja Nainggolan got the equaliser against his parent club at San Siro, but the goals have dried up lately for Giovanni Simeone.
The Sardinians are without a victory since the 4-3 thriller with Sampdoria on December 12, managing only three draws and four defeats. They remain in sixth place thanks to a spectacular start to the campaign, which is starting to feel like years ago.
Parma have lost three of their last four Serie A meetings with Cagliari, home and away, save for a 2-0 home result in September 2018.
Sassuolo vs Roma
MAPEI Stadium, Reggio nell Emilia
Saturday, 01-02-2020 @10:45pm
Roma will be frustrated after dominating the derby and only getting a point, while Sassuolo came closest to victory despite being down to 10 men at Sampdoria.
The Giallorossi thought they had done enough to take the Derby della Capitale, but a costly and frankly comical howler from Pau Lopez gifted Lazio a 1-1 draw. Their lead over Atalanta in fourth place is now just one point and that is too close for comfort after just one win from their last four Serie A games.
They’ve been very active on the January transfer market, but it’s unlikely any of the new arrivals will be ready to play this weekend. Nicolò Zaniolo, Amadou Diawara, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Davide Zappacosta are going to be out for several more weeks.
Cengiz Under had one of his best games in a long time and was lively against Lazio, but Justin Kluivert needs to improve if he is to keep his place in the starting XI. Coach Paulo Fonseca surprised in the derby by dropping Aleksandar Kolarov and Alessandro Florenzi for Leonardo Spinazzola and Davide Santon, but could do so again here.
Sassuolo were able to not only pick up a point against Sampdoria, but come closest to the winner, despite being down to 10 men for over an hour. Federico Peluso was sent off for stopping a goal-scoring opportunity outside the penalty area and is therefore suspended, with Alfred Duncan, Vlad Chiriches, Gian Marco Ferrari and Roma-owned Gregoire Defrel injured.
It’s between Filip Djuricic and Hamed Junior Traore to complete the attack with Domenico Berardi, Jeremie Boga and Francesco Caputo.
The Neroverdi have to get the results that their performances deserve, because they are sliding down the table after just two wins in their last 10 Serie A games.
Roma have never lost a Serie A meeting with Sassuolo, earning eight wins and five draws, home and away. Their record at the Mapei Stadium is even stronger, winning five out of six visits and conceding just one goal in October 2016.
-Juventus vs Fiorentina @2:30pm
-Atalanta vs Genoa @5pm
-AC Milan vs Hellas Verona @5pm
-Lazio vs SPAL @5pm
-Lecce vs Torino @8pm
-Udinese vs Inter Milan @10:45pm
-Sampdoria vs Juventus @10:45pm