Goals Galore at the Mapei Stadium
At 2PM GMT on Saturday, Sassuolo will host Atalanta at the Mapei Stadium. Two mid-table teams that have produced both good and bad performances this season. Both teams have firepower up front but they just can't seem to keep it tight at the back over 90 minutes. I think this game will provide goals in both directions as the two teams go all out for 3 points.
Sassuolo will come into this game off the back of an away loss to Roma. It was a game in which they never really got going, and despite the fact that they grabbed a consolation goal late on, they never really threatened the I Giallorossi. But, when Sassuolo play at home, it's a different story. On home turf, Sassuolo often dominate for large periods of the game, but they still leave themselves exposed at the back. Their average number of goals is obviously higher when they play at home compared to away. 1.89 goals scored and 1.67 conceded at home this season; in 78% of the matches both teams have scored and in 56% of them the game has ended with over 2.5 goals. They have slightly over-performed when you compare this with their expected goals - but not enough to raise eyebrows. At the Mapei Stadium we have seen the second most goals this season. Sassuolo have strength in attack with Berardi, Babacar and Di Francesco, and although Boateng is still out injured they have all the resources you need to score goals. Boateng aside, Sassuolo will have all their first XI available.
League Position: 11
If you look at the figures then you'll see that Atalanta is the team in Serie A that generates the most amount of games in which there is a higher scoreline than the league's average goals per game. The stats are bonkers when you look at their away record, in 0 games have they not scored, 78% of the matches have ended in over 2.5 goals. Their average goals away from home is an unbelievable 2.00 scored and 2.00 conceded. Worst of all, these stats are pretty much in line with their expected goals. They have let in a few more goals than they should have and scored one too many according the EG but otherwise their stats are a pretty fair reflection of their performances. These figures have an explanation in the form of their slick attack and error prone defence. Atalanta is a brave, if not foolhardy team that wants to grab the match by the scruff of the neck and create chances, regardless of the opposition. This tactic results in, rather expectedly, lots of goalscoring chances but also leaves them exposed at the back and vulnerable to counter attacks.The average goals in Atalanta's away games this season is 4.00 goals per game. In their last game they drew 2-2 with Juventus, the in-form Zapata scoring twice. Borderline absurd. Atalanta will miss Toloi and De Roon, but otherwise they have a fully fit squad.
Their average goals away from home is an unbelievable 2.00 scored and 2.00 conceded
League Position: 9
This match should end with a scoreline higher than the league average. Each respective team have their strengths in attack, and each respective team have their weaknesses in defence. Their head to head records also suggest that this will be a game with a lot of goals. I look forward to seeing two teams that will go for three points and play their own attacking style of play. Everything points to the fact that we should see goals, as usual, on Saturday at the Mapei Stadium. I will be betting on over 2.5 goals at odds of 4/5.