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Italian Serie A: Week 3 Preview
Our footy scribe previews the third round of the 2016/17 Italian Serie A season.
Now that the international break is done and dusted, we can turn our attention back to our beloved club football. The Italian Serie A will soon take shape, but for now, Genoa lead the pack at the top of the table ahead of Sampdoria, Juventus and Sassuolo on goal-difference.
Atalanta, Crotone and Empoli occupy the relegation places heading into gameweek three. None are off the mark, but with a long and action-packed season ahead, the Serie A is sure to keep you in suspense throughout. Let’s find out what top matchups await us this weekend.
Saturday 10 September
Juventus 7/20 | Draw 36/10 | Sassuolo 9/1
Defending champions Juventus will kick-start proceedings with a home game against Sassuolo. The 'Old Lady' has started the season as expected, claiming back-to-back wins and are heavy favourites to make it three on the trot.
Sassuolo have been just as impressive, starting the season with consecutive victories. Nonetheless, I just can’t see them snatching a point here, let alone three. Juve have won the last three meetings at home against their opponents, scoring six goals without conceding. They priced up short at 7/20 but it’s worth adding to your weekend multiple.
Palermo 6/1 | Draw 15/4 | Napoli 4/10
Palermo and Napoli will lock horns on Saturday evening. The latter is still in search of their first win, whilst Napoli will be looking to build on their impressive showing last time out, humbling AC Milan 4-2.
Palermo, however, did extremely well to grind out a hard-fought 1-1 draw away to Inter Milan. Now, they will be looking to go one better, capitalize on home advantage and bag their first victory of the season. I think they might just fall short, however. Napoli have won six of the last eight meetings between the teams and are tipped to add to that.
Sunday 11 September
Bologna 23/20 | Draw 23/20 | Cagliari 24/10
Bologna will welcome newcomers Cagliari to the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara for a lunch-time kick-off on Sunday afternoon. Rossoblu were man-handled before the international break, with Torino thumping them 5-1 in a six-goal thriller. New boys on the block Cagliari can take solace from their last outing, after holding Serie A heavyweights Roma to a well-deserved 2-2 draw.
However, Bologna did manage a 1-0 victory over newcomers Crotone in their opening match and will feel they can return to winning ways here. This should be a cagey affair, making the Under 2.5 Goals market eye-catching at 7/10.
Roma 4/10 | Draw 39/10 | Sampdoria 13/2
Roma will take on Sampdoria on Sunday afternoon, eager to make ground on the teams above them. Kevin Strootman scored for the first time in more than two and a half years before Giallorossi squandered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at Cagliari last time out.
Sampdoria are currently placed second on the log after making a terrific start to the Serie A, which includes two wins on the bounce. As good as they have been, they are likely to fall short here. Back Roma for the win.
Genoa 17/10 | Draw 22/10 | Fiorentina 17/10
Table-toppers Genoa will be hoping to maintain their 100% win record in the 2016/17 campaign, but face a stern test against Fiorentina on Sunday afternoon. Grifone are without a victory over the Viola in the last 13 meetings and will be desperate to break that record.
Fiorentina edged Chievo 1-0 before the international break, and will be hungry to collect maximum points yet again. They will take confidence in their outstanding record against their opponents, but as they say, ‘records are made to be broken’. The draw looks inviting at a valuable 22/10.
Chievo 2/1 | Draw 2/1 | Lazio 29/20
Next up, Chievo clash with Lazio in what looks to be an enticing contest. The home team may have fallen to a 1-0 defeat away to Fiorentina last time out, but they did manage a 2-0 victory in front of their die-hard supporters against Inter Milan in their opening match of the season.
Just like their opponents, Lazio have won one and lost the other. Biancocelesti lost this fixture 4-0 last season, but got their revenge with a 4-1 triumph in the reverse tie. Another match that is likely to go down to the wire – take Both Teams To Score at 19/20.
Atalanta 7/4 | Draw 22/10 | Torino 16/10
Torino will travel to Atalanta on Sunday afternoon full of confidence following their 5-1 thrashing of Bologna. They are playing fast attacking, attractive football - firing on all cylinders. Atalanta, on the other hand, are down in the dumps, suffering back-to-back defeats.
Torino are unbeaten against their opponents in the last five meetings, including three losses on the spin. At 16/10, Torino are way too tempting to pass up - Get on!
AC Milan 13/20 | Draw 11/4 | Udinese 17/4
AC Milan and Udinese are currently in the same boat - one win and one defeat after two matches. It’s difficult to separate the teams, but when it comes down to it, Milan possess that extra bit of quality and firepower that Udinese lack.
The Rossoneri will be hopeful of taking maximum points at the San Siro, after Udinese managed just four wins from 19 travels last season. The home win is the way to go.
Pescara 36/10 | Draw 26/10 | Inter Milan 15/20
Newly promoted Pescara are yet to win a match, and to make matters worse, will come up against Inter Milan. Neroverdi fell short last time out, going down 2-1 away to Sassuolo, so they will gladly return to their home patch.
Inter Milan haven’t been any better, claiming just one point from two matches. They have won the last two meetings against Pescara, scoring five goals without conceding. The away win is on the cards.
Monday 12 September
Empoli 11/20 | Draw 3/1 | Bologna 5/1
Last but not least, gameweek three comes to a close with bottom-of-the-log Empoli playing host to Bologna. The latter have been dreadful, conceding three goals without finding the back of the net. However, Bologna were hammered 5-1 at Torino last time out and could be there for the taking.
One thing is for sure, both teams will know the importance of tightening up in defence. Seven of the last 10 meetings between them have seen Under 2.5 Goals and I would suggest following that pattern.
Written by Aaron Crowie @Hollywoodbets