Mapei Stadium to host a close Christmassy contest
Sassuolo on a surge
Alessio Dionisi's side are having a rather underwhelming season in Serie A this season by their recent standards. However, despite their lowly 11th position in the table, Sassuolo are actually unbeaten in their last six league games. But their most recent result will be one of the more concerning performances for Dionisi. He saw his side hit a quickfire double past Fiorentina in the first half, only for defensive lapses in concentration and a brilliant Dusan Vlahovic finish to scratch off their two goal advantage. Sassuolo only managed to hold onto the single point thanks to heroics between the sticks from Andrea Consigli, keeping several goalscoring opportunities at bay. On the positive side, Dusan Vlahovic wasn't the only high scoring youngster playing at the weekend. Sassuolo's Gianluca Scamacca, in a similar build to Vlahovic, slid home an excellent finish against Fiorentina and has scored four goals from his last six games. At just 22-years-old, there will be more big clubs circling at the end of this season that's for sure. But Scamacca is just one part of a young Sassuolo core. Hamad Traore and Giacomo Raspadori among others in this side are real bright sparks and ones to watch for the future, as well as for Sassuolo's present. With wins against Juventus, AC Milan and Lazio since the end of October, Sassuolo have proved that on their day, they can be one of the very best sides in Serie A. If they can continue to develop with a model of selling their young stars on for huge profits, then Sassuolo have a really sustainable future. They're certainly an entertaining side, with goals galore in the majority of their games. They'll be hoping to carry on this unbeaten run against a struggling Bologna side on Wednesday.
Woeful Bologna looking to stop a slide
In somewhat of a contrast to Sassuolo's good performances of late, Bologna are on their worst run of this campaign. They've played some tricky opposition recently however, with losses against Fiorentina, Torino and Juventus in their last three games. But with games against Inter Milan and Napoli to open their account for the new year, things aren't getting much easier for Sinisa Mihajlovic's side. This game against Sassuolo is imperative if they're to avoid a slide towards the lower end of the table. Just 24 goals scored in their 18 Serie A games isn't something to write home about, and coming up blank in their 2-0 loss to Juventus on Saturday won't do their confidence any good. Before their recent 3-2 loss to Fiorentina, they won away at Spezia and pulled off an impressive 1-0 victory over Mourinho's Roma. But their three game losing streak could well continue against this in-form Sassuolo outfit. Their 2-0 loss to Juventus, a game in which goals from Alvaro Morata and Juan Cuadrado ensured a victory for the visitors, saw Bologna put the Old Lady under some regular pressure. Marco Arnautovic went close on several occasions for the hosts and some smart saves from Szczesny in the Juventus goal allowed Juan Cuadrado's wonder strike to seal the deal. Bologna will have to once again give everything they've got to be at their best if they're to get anything out of Wednesday's game.
A tough battle between two of Serie A's contrasting sides. Both sat firmly mid-table on current form, this game really could go either way. But I can see Sassuolo to carry on their imperious form and force the issue against Bologna, pushing for some goals. That's why I'm going with Both Teams to Score and Over 2.5 goals with Betway.