Serie A Preview And Predictions - Week Three
Serie A heads into week three following the international break and we have you covered with our preview featuring three of the big games this weekend in Italy' top-flight. Defending champions Inter Milan look to make it three wins from three away to Sampdoria, Juventus travel to Npoli, while AC Milan and Lazio gent down to business in a top of the table clash. Check out our preview and predictions below and if that isn't enough, we also have our preview and predictions for the weekend's action from all of Europe's top leagues.
Napoli v Juventus
Aside from losing Cristiano Ronaldo to Man Utd, Juventus’ season has gotten off to a miserable start with a 2-2 draw at Udinese followed by a 1-0 defeat to newly promoted Empoli at home. By contrast, Napoli are one of five teams to take maximum points from their opening two games, taking wins over Venezia and Genoa, despite suffering a 22nd-minute red card against the former.
striker Victor Osimhen’s two-game suspension has been successfully appealed and having missed the clash with Genoa, will be available again now. Juventus do however have selection headaches with a sizeable South American contingent having been on international duty, while Massimiliano Allegri will be sweating on the fitness of midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur.
Napoli deservedly start this game as favourites having lost just once from their past 18 Serie A matches (W13-D4-L1). Although that sole defeat was to Juventus themselves back in April, they’ve won both encounters on home turf over the past two campaigns.
Juventus are just W5-D4-L3 on the road since mid-January, with those defeats coming against Inter, Napoli and Atalanta. In fact, they only managed a single victory away to top-seven sides last term, failing to register any clean sheets across such fixtures.
NAPOLI DRAW NO BET
Sampdoria v Inter Milan
Sampdoria are yet to find the net this season, but having gone down narrowly 1-0 to Milan on the opening day before a goalless stalemate with Sassuolo, they’ve been competitive nonetheless. The solid defensive record so far will be tested here however, with Inter opening their campaign in style as they’ve scored seven times and conceded just once in games against Genoa and Verona so far.
Simone Inzaghi may have to juggle his squad a little with the majority of his squad having been away on international duty. Stefano Sensi may start having not seen much game time over the international break, with Nicolo Barella likely to be rested ahead of the upcoming Champions League clash with Real Madrid. Meanwhile, with Lautaro Martinez and Joaquin Correa clocking up air miles and not due back in Italy long before this fixture, Edin Dzeko is expected to start up front for the Nerazzurri.
Following the defeat to Milan on the opening day, Sampdoria have trailed at both half time and full time in six of their last eight clashes with last season’s top seven sides. That includes a 5-1 defeat to Inter themselves, while the visitors have an excellent record beyond clashes with those top sides. Inter have won 14 of their last 15 unbeaten clashes against teams outside of last season’s top seven, and although they shouldn’t have it as comfortably as they have in their opening two fixtures, Inzaghi’s men should pick up maximum points.
INTER MILAN TO WIN
AC Milan v Lazio
Lazio will be delighted with their start to the new campaign, winning entertaining clashes with Empoli (3-1) and Spezia (6-1), though harder tests await with those two sides promoted from Serie B and finishing in the bottom six last season respectively. They conceded very early in both of those games and with eight goals in total across the first halves alone, there could be another explosive start here. Indeed, all four clashes between Milan and Lazio over the past two campaigns have seen a minimum of three goals, with the first strike coming inside 25 minutes on each occasion.
Milan have also taken victory in both matches to date, following up a solid 1-0 win over Sampdoria with a 4-1 triumph over Cagliari, with all six goals across those games netted in the first half. Milan have now won six of seven unbeaten league games since May, leading at half time in each of those victories, including crucial wins over Juventus and Atalanta.
Lazio lost five of six trips to top-seven teams last term, though they did find the net in all but one of these. Ciro Immobile will fancy his chances of registering having scored six times in his last six league games against Milan, including goals in all three appearances against them over the past two campaigns. He’s already bagged four goals in the new season, leaving him with 10 strikes in as many league games since mid-April.
Milan’s striking options aren’t quite so great ahead of this fixture with Olivier Giroud recently testing positive for Covid-19. With Zlatan Ibrahimovic not quite ready to return from injury just yet, it looks as though Ante Rebic will lead the line with summer signing Pietro Pellegri likely to make his debut from the bench.
CIRO IMMOBILE TO SCORE ANYTIME