The upcoming Serie A round is headlined by Milan-Roma, while Juventus and Napoli will continue their duel by taking on Atalanta and Cagliari respectively.
Inter-Benevento: the Nerazzurri crumbled against Genoa last week and failed to pick up steam after the win over Bologna. Not only their attack remains lackluster, but also their back-line is not as solid as it used to be at the beginning of the season. However, they will have a great opportunity to turn things around this week, because the Sanniti have lost every road game so far and have conceded a whopping 30 goals in the meantime. The guests are showing a lot of grit at home: when they will manage to replicate that in away fixtures, they might concretely re-enter the relegation race. Inter will probably not have Mauro Icardi back, and certainly not at full capacity: Eder has done OK relieving the star striker, while this could be a good match-up for the electric Yann Karamoh and for Ivan Perisic, who has been slumping for so long. Benevento do not really have a go-to-guy and now also Cheick Diabate has joined their attacking committee. Guilherme could be a longshot pick in a game where they could have some room to counter.
Sassuolo-Lazio: the Neroverdi have not won in over a month and are back in hot water after a little surge following the coaching change. They have better talent than the teams behind them in the standings, but they are underperforming, especially at home, where they have won only two times. The Biancocelesti returned to winning ways by trouncing Verona, in a game where they created a bounty of scoring chances: they are trustworthy against the minnows, so their front-line, starting with Serie A’s leading scorer Ciro Immobile, but also Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Luis Alberto, are certainly worth a deep look. Khouma Babacar buried his first goal with the new team last week and also Domenico Berardi’s form is improving: they will need that because they have scored only five times at the Mapei Stadium so far.
Juventus-Atalanta: the Old Lady has won nine straight games, mostly shutting down and scraping by the opponents. They have an injury crisis upfront as Gonzalo Higuain and Federico Bernardeschi got hurt in the last game, while Paulo Dybala just came up and is not ready for a full load. Mario Mandzukic could spearhead the attack, but the most intriguing pick is the in-form Douglas Costa. The Orobici have dropped only one game in their last five Serie A ones and they are in the mix for the sixth spot. Differently from the opponents, they will play midweek, against Borussia Dortmund. Josip Ilicic has been the most consistent Atalanta player this year, followed by Bryan Cristante, while Alejandro Gomez has only occasionally rekindled his last season’s brilliance. However, they will face one of the most stifling defences in the League, which has conceded only one goal in the last 11 outings.
Roma-Milan: a true acid test for both sides as the Giallorossi have won three in a row and grabbed the third spot, while the Rossoneri are undefeated under Gattuso and are now even with Sampdoria in sixth place. Both teams have been playing pretty well lately: Roma have exploited Cengiz Under’s stellar form, a revamped scheme and the usually reliable back-line and goalkeeping, Milan are way more cohesive and clear-headed now and few players chipped in offensively, Patrick Cutrone, Suso and Giacomo Bonaventura in particular. Radja Nainggolan has an history of stepping up in big games, while Edin Dzeko has had a tough time shaking free from defenders and that is one of the reasons why the Wolf has had a tough time racking up goals.
Cagliari-Napoli: Partenopei are riding a nine-game winning streak and they have no intention to slow down. The Sardinia Arena has not been the fort Cagliari hoped it would and their home deficiencies, compared to previous seasons, have hurt them. Napoli are not as explosive on the road as they are at home, but they are still very successful and so Dries Mertens, Lorenzo Insigne and company could be excellent selections. Leonardo Pavoletti and Joao Pedro are the main threats for Cagliari, but they will go against a very focused back-lined, anchored by Kalidou Koulibaly, where also Elseid Hysaj and Mario Rui have rounded into form.
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