Serie A returns on the pitch with a heavy heart: the upcoming round is headlined by Inter-Napoli.
Roma-Torino: the Giallorossi will try to carry on their good momentum after a terrific win at San Paolo. While they have an elite road record, they have not been as convincing at home lately, but the last result could propel them. Patrik Schick is set to start because Edin Dzeko is suspended and he will try to turn his season around. Cengiz Under is undoubtedly the most appealing option, recently also Diego Perotti has had some decent showings, but there could be some rotation ahead to the midweek game against Shakhtar Donetsk: Lorenzo Pellegrini and Stephan El Shaarawy are always pretty active when fielded. Torino will try to bounce back after two straight losses: Andrea Belotti has shown signs of his best self, while Iago Falque has been their best contributor so far this season. Both him and Adem Ljajic are ex-Roma players and Eusebio Di Francesco’s back-line has been less stout than usual recently.
Cagliari-Lazio: the Sardinians have been defeated in theur last two games and they have had a very tough time with the top clubs so far this season. The Biancocelesti were pipped at the post against Juventus, but they are usually trustworthy against the minnows and the Rossoblù have a porous defence. Serie A’s leading scorer Ciro Immobile and everybody’s favourite player Sergej Milinkovic-Savic will have a pretty good opportunity to pad their already impressive starts, while Felipe Anderson is coming on nicely and outplaying Luis Alberto. As for the home team, which rarely goes down without a fight, the target man Leonardo Pavoletti has been prolific enough to keep them afloat, while their other fantasy stud Joao Pedro’s play has abated now that he is forced to play in the midfield. The youngster Han could be a longshot bet.
Juventus-Udinese: even though they are not in peak form, the Bianconeri are coming off two monumental results against Lazio and Tottenham in Champions League. They have won 10 games in a row in Serie A, allowing only one goal in this stretch. They defence will be a little depleted by suspension or resting, in any case Kwadwo Asamoah is certain to start and he has been very solid this season. Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala did their thing at Wembley and they will now face a much weaker opponent, Douglas Costa has been on fire lately. Udinese are going through a rough patch: they have lost three in a row and they are struggling to come up with a plan to replace Kevin Lasagna, because Maxi Lopez and Rodrigo De Paul are not consistent goal-scorers and Stipe Perica is still a work in progress.
Genoa-Milan: the Grifone came down to earth after three wins, two great ones against Inter and Lazio on the road, with a lackluster performance against Bologna, where they were deservedly beaten. They will now have to prove that it was just an anomaly: they have performed better in away games, but their defence has been robust at Marassi as well. However, they will obviously face an in-form enemy, which have won six out of their last seven Serie A games, led by Patrick Cutrone, Suso and Giacomo Bonaventura. Goran Pandev remains the biggest scoring threat in Davide Ballardini’s side.
Inter-Napoli: the Nerazzurri’s performance have picked up recently at home, where they have not lost in five outings, but now they need to turn it on offensively because they can not always squeak by with fortuitous goals. Yann Karamoh has brought some newfound explosiveness in recent games, while Rafinha could be a wild card, but it remains to be seen whether Luciano Spalletti will trust his youngsters in a game of this magnitude or if he will go with the old guard. Anyway, Mauro Icardi is fully healthy and could hurt a defence that has just had a poor display against Roma. The Partenopei came a cropper last week and are in danger of losing the top spot. While they trident did enough, with Lorenzo Insigne and Dries Mertens both bagging one, their back-line uncharacteristically let them down and so their 11-game winning streak vanished. Inter have conceded in six of their last seven matches so Azzurri attackers deserve consideration.
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