Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Home Fantasy SASS vs ACM, Serie A 2021/22: MPL Preview, Predictions & Fantasy Team

SASS vs ACM, Serie A 2021/22: MPL Preview, Predictions & Fantasy Team

Sassuolo will be up against AC Milan in the final Serie A encounter of the season at the Mapei Stadium – Città del Tricolore in Reggio Emilia on the 22nd of May.

As things stand, AC Milan are just 90 minutes away from finally reclaiming this Scudetto title for the first time in over a decade. Going into this match, Stefano Pioli’s side are aware that even a draw against Sassuolo on Sunday evening would secure their long-awaited Serie A title. They lead defending Serie A champions and city rivals Inter Milan by two points at the top of the table, ahead of an absorbing season’s grand finale. The Rossoneri also have a better head-to-head record against the Nerazzurri and therefore, all they need to do is to avoid defeat in order to be crowned kings of the Italian top flight for the 19th time in their history.

In the 17 Serie A meetings between Sassuolo and Milan, the hosts have been able to claim only six wins. However, the modest Emilian outfit have come out on top in both of the clubs’ last two matches against each other, which follows November’s surprising and shocking win at the San Siro.

Sassuolo managed to return home with a spectacular 3-1 victory on that occasion leaving Milan supporters and players star-struck and stunned in silence. Star strikers Gianluca Scamacca and Domenico Berardi found their names on the scoresheet rather unsurprisingly. Sassuolo now have the chance to win three matches on the trot against AC Milan for the first time in their history. This time, the added caveat will be the question of the title race as they will have the opportunity to spoil the Rossoneri’s title celebration party on their own home turf.

Gianluca Scamacca has been a particularly important highlight of Sassuolo’s season so far. He has scored 15 goals in the league so far and is also rumored to be making his way to greener pastures in Inter during the upcoming summer transfer window. Scamacca scored a brace of goals in the Neroverdi’s 3-1 derby win over Bologna in the last match and Domenico Berardi, who is also said to be a transfer target for AC Milan, was on the scoresheet as well.

In the second half of the Serie A 2021/22 campaign, Alessio Dionisi’s team have scored the third-highest number of goals (34) and are only behind Napoli and Lazio in that regard. It’s clear how big of an impact the duo of Scamacca and Berardi have had on their fortunes and they continue to be involved in the race for a top-half finish in the league table provided that Torino or Verona slip up in their match on the final weekend.

While finding the back of the net hasn’t exactly been a problem for Sassuolo all season, plugging gaps and holes in defense is still a concern for Alessio Dionisi’s side. They have conceded the third most goals in 2022, fewer only than Venezia, who have already been relegated, and the free-falling Empoli outfit. Their record of letting in at least one goal in each of their last 15 matches at home represents the longest such streak in the top flight of Italian football and Milan will be hoping to capitalize on exactly that.

Since last winning the Serie A title way back in 2011, AC Milan have been struggling and toiling under the shadows of Juventus and city rivals Inter. For a club as historic and prestigious as Milan, they had been dealing with anonymity and mediocrity for way too long. However, they seem to be on the verge of turning the tide and took the penultimate step towards Italian top-flight supremacy when they enjoyed a comfortable 2-0 victory over Gian Piero Gasperini’s Atalanta last weekend.

Though they faced an out of sorts La Dea, the Lombardy rivals, who have emerged as a recent dominant powerhouse in European football remained a tough fixture that could’ve proven to be a significant hurdle for Stefano Pioli’s relatively youthful and exuberant side. However, they made up for what they lacked in age and experience with unquestionable team chemistry and bags of abilities.

Both were on display last Sunday, as Rafael Leao produced yet another crucial goal for Milan this campaign as he opened the scoring. However, everyone’s jaw dropped and they fell to their knees when his goal was followed by a sensational solo effort by Theo Hernandez who covered over 60 yards to effectively seal all three points with only 15 minutes remaining on the clock.

The Rossoneri are now entering the final corner of what has been a thoroughly scintillating and absorbing title race. They have held on to the top spot in the league firmly with a sensational comeback win over Hellas Verona as well as victories against Lazio and Fiorentina. Milan also had to deal with the disappointment of crashing out of the Coppa Italia semi-finals at the hands of their title challengers Inter.

Stefano Pioli’s side has picked up 83 points from their 37 matches so far this season – their highest total in the league since the 1980s which just goes to show how neck and neck the title challenge has been in Italy this season. They have already won 25 league games and only thrice in their long and illustrious history have they won at least 26 matches in an Italian top-flight campaign. They haven’t hit the mark in nearly 16 years but if they win on Sunday, they will be able to do just that with their success being rooted to their impenetrable defensive show this season.

Almost remarkably, AC Milan have kept a clean sheet in 17 Serie A matches so far, which is the club’s highest tally since 2011-12 campaign. They have also considered the fewest goals for any side in the second half of the Serie A season. Their backline for often held by the young improvisational defensive duo of Pierre Kalulu and Fikayo Tomori have leaked just nine league goals in 2022 – at least 8 fewer than any of their competitors. Mike Maignan, brought in as a replacement for the departing Gianluigi Donnarumma has been sensational in his maiden Serie A campaign and was honoured with the Goalkeeper of the Season award recently.

Their resilience will surely to be put to the test against a free-scoring Sassuolo side led by Scamacca and Berardi. However, they will be desperate to find enough gas in the tank left for one last push for the finish line. The champions-elect have won on each of their last five league visits to the Mapei Stadium and if history repeats itself on Sunday, we will have new Serie A champions.

SASS vs ACM, Serie A 2021/22

Date: 22nd May, 2022

Time: 9:30 PM IST

Venue: Mapei Stadium – Città del Tricolore, Reggio Emilia

FORM GUIDE:

Sassuolo Serie A form:

  • W-L-L-L-D-W

Sassuolo form (all competitions):

  • W-L-L-L-D-W

AC Milan Serie A form:

  • D-W-W-W-W-W

AC Milan form (all competitions):

  • W-L-W-W-W-W

HEAD-TO-HEAD:

Sassuolo wins: 7

Draws: 5

AC Milan wins: 11

TEAM NEWS:

Sassuolo Team News: Sassuolo will be operating at close to full capacity. Giorgios Kyriakopoulos is set to return and helm his position on the left side of the hosts’ back four which might see Rogerio getting relegated to the bench instead. Kyriakopoulos had to serve a suspension last week.

On the other hand, one of Kaan Ayhan, Vlad Chirches and Gian Marco Ferrari will certainly miss out on selection at the heart of the back four while the likes of Abdou Harroui and Jeremy Toljan will continue to remain absent owing to their injury.

Operating from the right-wing, Sassuolo captain Domenico Berardi has scored more Serie A goals against AC Milan than any other side to date. He has found the back of the net 10 times against the Rossoneri and has also directly been involved in at least one during each of his last three matches against Milan.

AC Milan Team News: Besides senior defender Simon Kjaer who has been out injured for a long time, almost a fully available Milan squad will be available at the disposal of head coach Stefano Pioli. The experienced manager will be concerned about how to best utilize the talents of his players but he has found his winning combination over the course of the season and is unlikely to tinker with it too much.

There’s no question that in form striker Rafael Leao will be leading the line for AC Milan. He has secured plenty of plaudits for his consistent performances and match-winning contributions and Leao had scored the fastest goal in Serie A history back at the Mapei Stadium in 2020. He will feature on the left of a front three and has been directly involved in six goals, which includes three assists, in his last five league matches.

Olivier Giroud is likely to start over another veteran striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the center of that trio. Ibrahimovic, however, will be expected to come off the bench and make an instant impact with his physicality and predatory scoring instincts.

Franck Kessie will be making his final appearance for Milan before his summer departure to Barcelona. He started against former club Atalanta last week and will also be expected to hold off competition from Ismail Bennacer to partner Sandro Tonali at the heart of Milan’s engine room.

Sassuolo possible starting lineup:

Consigli; Muldur, Ayhan, Ferrari, Kyriakopoulos; Frattesi, Lopez; Berardi, Raspadori, Traore; Scamacca

AC Milan possible starting lineup:

Maignan; Calabria, Kalulu, Tomori, Hernandez; Tonali, Kessie; Messias, Krunic, Leao; Giroud

Predictions:

Only Inter Milan have got more shots on goal than Sassuolo and AC Milan in the second half of the Serie A season. Therefore, if everything goes according to the script, this could prove to be an open encounter with plenty of chances created at both ends.

While creating and converting chances is not an issue for either side, holding the fort has certainly been a concern for Sassuolo and that is exactly where AC Milan have the advantage over them. Their defensive stronghold will be tested once again in the all-important title-deciding fixture. They are within touching distance of the Scudetto and their pace and power on the counter could ultimately prove decisive in their bid to rewrite history.

SASS vs ACM Fantasy XI No. 1

SASS vs ACM Fantasy XI No. 2

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments

Download the MPL App