Serie A promotion watch: Take two for Sassuolo

Maurizio Lagana

There are three games to go in Serie B, though Sassuolo will look to kill off any lingering doubts with a win to seal promotion this round. Here's this weekend's key promotion clashes.

Friday, 2:45 p.m. ET, 8:45 p.m. local:

Hellas Verona vs. Pro Vercelli

Both of these sides are, bizarrely, Scudetto winners. Hellas are one-hit wonders with their Serie A title success in 1985, while Pro won it seven times between 1908 and 1922. You wouldn't know it from Pro's current predicament -- anything but three consecutive wins from their final three games will see them relegated from Serie B, and that's hoping all of the teams around them lose their final few. Hellas are fighting at the other end of the table -- they're currently a point off the automatic promotion places in third, and will move to within a couple of points of league leaders Sassuolo with a win. The neroverdi don't play until Monday.

Saturday, 9 a.m. ET, 3 p.m. local:

Brescia vs. Ascoli

Brescia are fighting to get back into Serie A after they were relegated a couple of seasons ago. Currently two points off the playoff places, they can't afford to throw away any more points as we hurtle towards the end of the season. They host an appallingly out-of-form Ascoli side at the Mario Rigamonti this weekend -- they've lost six games consecutively and are on course for a relegation playout match.

Novara vs. Bari

Up until a couple of games ago, Novara had won seven consecutive matches. Having only picked up one point since, they'll hope to get back to winning ways with a victory at home to mid-table Bari. Currently with a four-point buffer inside the top six, they should be able to comfortably finish inside the playoffs.

Vicenza vs. Empoli

One of the most important games of the weekend; everyone hoping to win promotion via the playoffs will be praying that Empoli aren't upset by relegations strugglers Vicenza. That's because the Tuscans are currently fourth, and need to finish within ten points of third in order for the playoffs to take place at all (otherwise the top three are automatically promoted). With that gap nine points at the start of the round, there's no room for slip-ups.

Ternana vs. Livorno

Sitting four points off Sassuolo and one point in front of Hellas in second, Livorno are in a perfect position to win promotion. Ternana could prove to be tricky opponents this weekend, having cruised to a mid-table position after only being promoted last season. Providing they can cope with the visually spectacular rossoverdi jersey, though, Livorno should pick up three points.

Crotone vs. Modena

After they upset the odds to beat Sassuolo last weekend, Modena still have hopes of making the playoffs -- however small they may be. Four points adrift of the top six, the gialloblu have a tough task, and are banking on other results going their way. But, with this being one of three remaining winnable games, they should be able to hold up their end of the bargain.

Grosseto vs. Varese

Unfortunately for Brescia and Modena, Varese -- the team currently occupying that golden sixth place -- have a routine game against Grosseto this weekend. They were the first team to be mathematically relegated from Serie B this season, and have only won six games in total throughout.

Monday, 2:45 p.m. ET, 8:45 p.m. local:

Sassuolo vs. Padova

Simply put, a win would guarantee Sassuolo promotion. With Padova in decent form but with virtually no chance of making the playoffs, Eusebio Di Francesco's side have no excuses for throwing away promotion two weeks running.

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