Sassuolo hope to start new era with win

New Sassuolo coach Alberto Malesani heads into his first test at home to Hellas Verona on Sunday.

Simone Zaza of US Sassuolo Calcio

Sassuolo dismissed coach Eusebio Di Francesco after last weekend's 3-1 defeat at Livorno - their sixth loss in their last seven league games.

The outcome saw the Emilia-Romagna outfit slip to 18th in the standings, one point adrift of safety.

"We have all the ingredients to avoid the drop," Malesani said. "We have a good team. We just have to work hard and improve game by game."

The Verona-born tactician will have to put emotions to one side when he faces his home club on Sunday.

"I am a fan of Hellas," Malesani said. "But on Sunday my only aim is to take maximum points.

"We need a win to turn things around."

The hosts will be without defender Luca Antei, who serves a one-match ban.

Hellas have suffered a blow ahead of this weekend's match with news that defender Domenico Maietta will be sidelined for around six weeks.

Maietta sustained a groin injury during his team's 3-1 defeat to Roma last time out.

To complicate matters for Hellas coach Andrea Mandorlini, defender Alessandro Agostini will be out of action for two weeks with a thigh injury.

Despite those setbacks, Mandorlini expects his side to stop the rot at Sassuolo, having lost their last three league games to drop to eighth in the standings.

"We have faced a difficult schedule and it's normal to lose to Napoli, Milan and Roma," Mandorlini said. "They are much stronger teams than we are.

"The important thing now for us is to get back on track, starting on Sunday at Sassuolo."

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