Sassuolo vs Crvena zvezda by DamirJ
Sassuolo made a great success last season when the team managed to reach the sixth position and earn their qualification for the Europa League qualifiers. Of course, the target for this one is to continue being close to the Italian top teams, but also to make something more meaningful in Europe and surely to reach the group stage of this competition. One of bigger problems could be that their domestic league is yet to start, so the team surely isn't in their top form.
The team did well during the friendly matches, getting four victories but also choosing to play against less quality sides. On the other hand, they played against Luzern in the third round and after a 1:1 draw on the road, took deservedly 3:0 victory in front of own fans and secured the ticket for the play-off stage. As for the transfer moves, the team did some things, however they came pretty late in comparison to this game, so it's not very easy to understand how they'll look like now on the field.
Winger Nicola Sansone and right back Sime Vrsaljko have left the club, while they brought central defender Timo Letschert from Utrecht and striker Alessandro Matri who played on loan to Lazio in previous season, but signed only two days ago and his participation isn't very likely, or at least, shouldn't be. In comparison to previous season, they won't be able to count at defender Terranova (6/0 in last season), midfielders Laribi (11/0 last season), Missiroli (24/2 last season) and Pellegrini (19/3 in last season).
Crvena zvezda, on the other side, started their season with quite high ambitions in Champions League qualifiers, but the reality was that they drop to Europa League qualifers and now try their destiny against a stronger side in the play-off round. They progressed over Maltese champions Valletta, but couldn't do more against Bulgarian side Ludogorets, exiting the competition after 4:4 aggregate result and a 2:0 loss in extra-time of the second leg at home.
Some decent offensive potential was obvious in these games, but at the same time defensive gaps that aren't easy to avoid for the side when playing against stronger European teams. As for the domestic league, the things have started to go in their favor and it seems that the team is catching decent form, coming from four straight victories, scoring at least three goals in each one of them. Currently, they are at first position with three points more than Vojvodina and maybe more importantly, six point lead in comparison to arch-rivals Partizan.
Guests can't count at offensive midfielder Kanga (2/0) who is suspended due red card given in the second leg against Ludogorets. Striker Orlandic is out due injury, but without performance this season and anyway surely not starting lineup material for the visitors.
It's not easy now to understand how Sassuolo will be playing, but one way or another, they surely aren't weaker than the Serbian side in front of own crowd and will be aiming to get a victory. On the other side, Serbs do have some chance but know that they need to play more offensive than what was their approach in Ludogorets. Such scenario should give us few goals in the game, since their own defense is far from perfect.