The Serie A returned with a bang as champions Juventus, weakened by a series of departures in the close season, slumped to a shock 1-0 home defeat against Udinese in their opening game of the new season on Sunday. The defeat ended Juve's 47-match unbeaten home league record - a run stretching back to January 2013 - and ensured that the Turin side began their pursuit of a fifth straight title in miserable fashion. Runners-up from last season, Roma settled for a 1-1 draw in the very first game of the new campaign at Hellas Verona. Lazio, Fiorentina, Sampdoria and Inter Milan all tasted victory whilst all three newly-promoted teams fell to defeat. However, there is no need to jump the gun, with still 37 games to play – anything is possible.
Saturday 29 August
Italian football kicks off at newcomers Bologna this weekend. After falling to a hard fought 2-1 defeat at Lazio in the opening match of the season, Bologna will be looking to earn their first victory in front of their own fans. However, they were inconsistent on their ground last term and Sassuolo come to town on a high after starting the new campaign with a 2-1 victory at home against Napoli. It’s difficult to see Sassuolo going down after that confidence boosting win. The away win/draw Double Chance looks well worth a punt at 11/20.
AC Milan 4/10
Fiorentina made sure AC Milan's poor form from last season continued as they inflicted a 2-0 defeat on Sinisa Mihajlovic's men in his first league game in charge. Milan defender Rodrigo Ely was sent off after 37 minutes for a second bookable offence and from there on it was a downhill spiral for the Rossoneri. Empoli weren’t any better as they were ousted 3-1 on their turf by Chievo after going into halftime 1-0 up. They were dreadful on the road last season with just two wins from nineteen travels. Only one win over Milan in the last ten meetings doesn’t give you much confidence to back the away team and the Rossoneri are tipped for the win with Both Teams To Score (Matchbet + BTTS) at 22/10.
Sunday 30 August
Please see featured game.
Atalanta were unlucky not to force a goalless draw at Inter Milan last weekend as Stevan Jovetic marked his Inter debut by firing the club to a 1-0 victory in stoppage time. Atalanta looked solid throughout the game but lacked scoring opportunities to kill the game off. Frosinone marked their first ever Serie A game with a 2-1 home loss to Torino. The Comunale was packed out for this all-time debut after they finished second behind Carpi in the Serie B table last season. Roberto Stellone is the youngest coach in the Division at 38 and he will be looking to mastermind some sort of positive result when Frosinone travel to Atalanta on Sunday evening. With a measly six victories from 21 away games, Frosinone look unlikely to leave Atalanta on a good note. The home win is tipped.
Inter Milan 6/10
Tiny Carpi's Serie A debut turned into a nightmare on Sunday as they conceded five goals in the first 37 minutes on their way to a 5-2 defeat at Sampdoria. Carpi, representing a town with a population of 67 000, were playing fifth division football six seasons ago and completed a remarkable rise to the top flight when they won Serie B. Coach Fabrizio Castori had promised his side would not be intimidated but that was exactly what seemed to happen as they were given a harsh dose of reality. They need a strong response after that defeat but with Inter Milan coming to town, it’s difficult to see that happening here. Stevan Jovetic marked his Inter Milan debut by scoring a last-minute wonder goal against Atalanta to seal a 1-0 win. Inter looked solid defensively and pressed with conviction. It could be another nail-biter but Inter are tipped to edge the win.
Chievo scored three second-half goals to clinch a come-from-behind 3-1 victory at Empoli in their Serie A opener. It’s Lazio up next, who edged newly promoted Bologna 2-1 after beating Germany’s Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 in a Champions League Play-off first leg qualifier at home. They will contend the second leg on Wednesday night, which could affect their match with Chievo on the weekend. Both meetings were drawn between these sides last term and another draw looks likely. However, a safer bet would be Both Teams To Score at 9/10.
Like Atalanta, Genoa conceded in stoppage time to cap off an unlucky evening, going down 1-0 away to Palermo. However, they return to their turf where they are unbeaten against Verona in the last ten meetings, including a 5-2 thrashing last term. Verona got their campaign off to a great start earning a hard fought point at home against last season’s runners-up Roma. Verona were poor on their travels last season with only four wins from nineteen matches. Back Genoa for the win.
Napoli got their campaign off to a rocky start with a 2-1 defeat away to Sassuolo. They need to make a strong response here against high flyers Sampdoria who opened up their Serie A account with a 5-2 victory over new boys Carpi. Napoli have a brilliant record at home against their opponents, winning six of the last seven meetings on their ground. However, Sampdoria look the better team at present, so instead of picking a winner, goals look a certainty from this encounter. Back Both Teams To Score at 13/20.
Both Torino and Fiorentina got off to winning starts last time out with 2-1 and 2-0 victories over Frosinone and AC Milan respectively. Torino’s 2-1 victory came away from home, where they showed great fighting spirit to come from a goal down to claim the win. Fiorentina put in a solid performance to beat ten-man AC Milan. Torino were below-par at home last season, whilst Fiorentina were inconsistent on their travels. The sides are tipped to cancel each other out.
Udinese pulled off a miracle opening day victory away to Juventus, edging the Italian champions 1-0. It was hard fought and well-deserved. Summer signing Omar El Kaoutari gave Palermo a last-gasp 1-0 victory over Genoa after hitting the woodwork twice. Udinese and Palermo were impressive defensively in their opening matches. This fixture ended 3-1 in favour of Palermo last time around but if Udinese can beat Juventus, they should be able to defeat Palermo. Go with the home win.