Italy Serie A

U.S. Sassuolo Calcio: The Surprise in Italy

As players are off in the middle of the international break, it is a good moment to reflect on the Serie A season so far, and the one stand out is the team who are in second place currently. Sassuolo are currently second in the league after an unbeaten start to the league season.  

Sassuolo have had an interesting journey to reach where they currently are, so lets take at a look at their history and their journey.

Background

Sassuolo are nicknamed Neroverdi, which means black and green, in reference to their black and green kit. Sassuolo is a town within the province of Modena, which is in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. They play their home games at the Mapei Stadium and Roberto De Zerbi is head coach.

A Journey Through the Leagues

Sassuolo are a team that may not be as well-known globally as some of their other competitors. They have spent most of their history in the lower leagues of Italian football, they earned promotion in 1984 to reach Serie C2, which is the lowest level of professional football in Italy. They were relegated in 1990 and did not gain promotion again until 1998, to reach Serie C2 once again.

They won the Serie C2 promotion play offs in 2006 and won Serie C1/A title in 2008 under Massimiliano Allegri, which meant they were promoted to Serie B for the first time in their history.

Sassuolo reached the promotion play offs in 2009-10 and 2011-12 but lost in the semi finals on both occasions. They did finally win promotion to Serie A, when they won the Serie B title under manager, Eusebio Di Francesco.

Serie A Pedigree

They have performed well since being promoted from Serie B and finishing 17th in their first Serie A season in the 2013-14 season. Since then they have had numerous mid-table finishes and qualified for the Europa League after finishing 6th in the 2015-16 season.

Sassuolo had a good season last season finishing in eighth place, but it is certainly a surprise to see them up in second, even if it is early in the season.

Their away form has largely contributed to their success this season, they have won all three away games. They managed to win against Spezia, Bologna and Napoli.

Their home form has not been too bad either, they have drawn three of the four home games, with draws against Cagliari, Torino and Udinese. They managed to win their other home game against Crotone.

The Reasons Behind their Success

They have been impressive in front of goal, as they are the joint top scorers in the league with Atalanta, with a total of 18 goals scored, which is partly due to the amount of shots they manage in each game, as they average 16 shots per game, the fifth highest in Serie A.

They have not had to rely too much on one person for goals with Francesco Caputo the top scorer with five goals so far this season. Domenico Berardi and Filip Djuricic have three goals each and Manuel Locatelli has two goals himself.

Also, their success has come from them dominating games, as Sassuolo have had the highest average possession in the league with an average of 59% of the ball in their matches and only Juventus have had better pass accuracy, showing Sassuolo have managed to control the majority of their games, which has contributed to their results and the success so far this season.

Can they keep it up?

It will be interesting to see if they can continue their promising start, when the league returns after the international break. They may find it difficult to keep their form up but compared to their rivals who have European football to keep their schedule busy, Sassuolo do not, which could help them keep their players fresh. If they can get a European place, then it will be a successful season.

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