Our prediction for this Coppa Italia match:
Mapei Stadium – Citta del Tricolore will host the Coppa Italia clash between Sassuolo and SPAL. The Neroverdi suffered a 3-1 loss to Juventus in their last Serie A game, but their display in the defeat to Andrea Pirlo’s troops was anything but poor. Since Sassuolo have slim chances of winning Scudetto, we are positive that they will give 100% to go all the way in the Italian Cup. Boga is pushing for a start, while Berardi, Ricci, and Romagna remain in the recovery room.
SPAL, on the other hand, quickly bounced back from a 3-2 loss to Brescia, with the team beating Frosinone on the road in their last Serie B fixture. Pasquale Marino’s troops are eager to claim a major scalp in the Coppa Italia last 16, but seeing that Sassuolo are a real force to be reckoned with at home, the underdogs are likely to return to Ferrara empty-handed.
Highlighted Player (Vlad Chiriches):
Vlad Iulian Churches had an unusual path to the biggest stage, spending some time at the Benfica youth academy before returning to Romania to start his professional career at International. The central defender arrived to Steaua Bucuresti via Pandurii Targu Jiu and he needed just a year and a half to secure a big club move.
After snubbing a number of offers from Italian Serie A, Chiriches joined Tottenham Hotspur in the summer of 2013, becoming Steaua’s record transfer in the process. However, the Romania international did not enjoy the best of starts to his career in England and he was sold to Napoli after two somewhat disappointing seasons at White Hart Lane.
Chiriches has struggled for playing time at Stadio San Paolo as well, and he will probably need to play on regular basis if he is to realise his full potential. Meanwhile, the powerful defender remains an important member of the Romania national team, having earned more than 40 caps for the Tricolorii since making his debut in 2011.
Highlighted Team (SPAL):
SPAL impressed in the 2016/2017 Serie B campaign, with the team finishing the season in top position in the standings, four points clear of second-placed Hellas Verona.
The Biancazzurri returned to the Italian elite division following a 49-year absence and it has to be noted that they finished the 2016/2017 Serie A campaign in 14th place in the table. As a result, they were relegated to the Italian second tier at the end of the season.
The club was founded in 1907 as Circolo Ars et Labor and six years later was renamed as Societa Polisportiva Ars et Labor. After a bankruptcy the club was re-founded in 2005 and they have been competing as SPAl 1907 ever since.
SPAL welcome their rivals at Stadio Paolo Mazza, the venue which was opened in 1928. You should know that the capacity of the stadium is 12.438 Rovigo are regarded as Spal’s fiercest rivals and the two teams face each other in the Derby of Polesine.