The next slate before another international break is pretty juicy.
Genoa-Napoli: the Griffon have not won in four games and the effects of the coaching change have not been palpable, since they continue to concede a lot. They lost twice in San Siro last week and the schedule does not do them any favor. The Partenopei easily romped Empoli last week and have won three out of their last four games, looking splendid at times. Krzysztof Piatek has not scored for four games in a row, which is unlikely to be a coincidence, and their last goals under Milan Juric have been pretty random, by Cristian Romero on a free kick, by Romulo on a penalty and by Daniel Bessa on a defensive mishap. Christian Kouame is not prolific, but he continues to be a bright spot for them. Napoli are humming up front and Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne have been breathing fire recently. The Belgian got hurt against PSG, so this could be a decent spot for Arek Milik, who scored despite playing limited minutes versus Empoli. José Callejon and Fabian Ruiz are playing well, but the strikers are doing most of the scoring lately. Piotr Zielinski could use a slump buster.
Atalanta-Inter: both teams are in a good moment since the Bergamaschi have won three in a row against Chievo, Parma and Bologna, while the Beneamata is riding a seven-game winning streak and also managed to tie with Barcelona. Gian Piero Gasperini is starting to recover his weapons: Josip Ilicic recently had a hat-trick, Duvan Zapata scored the game-winner last week. It is no surprise that they turned it around once the Slovenian attacker got healthy and he is a massive reference point up front. Inter are mostly taking advantage of Mauro Icardi’s stellar form and he has found the target in seven of his last eight appearances, with two braces, and of a stout defense. Radja Nainggolan is back in the fold after an ankle sprain, while Mattia Politano hit the net in the last domestic match. They could go up another level if Ivan Perisic snapped out of his funk since he had his last goal in the second match day. Antonio Candreva and Balde Keita could get some good minutes here considering the busy schedule. The recent match-ups between the two teams have been hard fought, but generally low-scoring. Alejando Gomez is not in great shape, but he tends to show up in big games. The Orobici have conceded just twice at home so far.
Roma-Sampdoria: the Giallorossi have failed to win in their last three fixtures, but the last two were demanding ones in Naples and in Florence, where they came away with ties. They have struggled to find any consistency, both as a team and in terms of player’s performances. The Blucerchiati have lost their last two games, first against Milan away and then at home, rather badly against Torino. A rough stretch that almost negated what they have been doing so far since they dropped down the 11th spot the standings. Edin Dzeko has scored just twice in Serie A so far and this has clearly been a problem, because their other main options Stephan El Shaarawy and Cengiz Under, while chipping in occasionally, can not make up for it. Patrik Schick continues to be MIA, while Justin Kluivert and Javier Pastore have just returned from injuries and perhaps they will be able to add something for a team that is desperately looking for some certainties. Lorenzo Pellegrini is one of the few they possess as he has been fantastic lately. As for the Doriani, Gregoire Defrel is fizzling, while Fabio Quagliarella has bagged two in the last two games, continuing to be their rock offensively. Riccardo Saponara and Gianluca Caprari have been more up-and-now, while Gaston Ramirez and Dawid Kownacki have been straight up disappointing.
Sassuolo-Lazio: the Neroverdi returned to winning ways after a four-match pause against Chievo last week, while the Biancocelesti squashed SPAL, earning yet another W against the minnows. They have lost points only against the top teams, so this will be an interesting test to see where Sassuolo is at after they solid start, as they currently sit in sixth position. While the guests have generally been carried by Ciro Immobile, who is staking his claim for the scorers’ chart, the Emiliani have shared the wealth, as also Federico Di Francesco and Filip Djuricic have been able to do damage on offense. Kevin Boateng is their leading scorer, but he does not quite look right physically. Domerico Berardi is playing well and shooting a lot, but he has been absent from the scoresheets for a while now. While Simone Inzaghi is still waiting for Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Luis Alberto to resume being a wrecking crew, he has gotten some excellent displays from Felipe Caicedo and Joaquin Correa and more goals than anticipated from Marco Parolo.
Milan-Juventus: the Rossoneri have snatched two gritty wins versus Genoa and Udinese thanks to late goals by Alessio Romagnoli. They have won in five of their last six matches. The Bianconeri have not looked dominant in a while in Serie A, but they still got the three points in ten out of 11 matches. They will likely be on high alert after the faux pas in Champions League. Milan are incredibly depleted right now and their chances in this one hinge on how many men they will be able to recover, since their linchpins Gonzalo Higuain, Giacomo Bonaventura and Hakan Calhanoglu are banged up, while Lucas Biglia is out. Suso has been their driving force lately, with Patrick Cutrone and Samu Castillejo also showing well. The Old Lady is dealing with some injuries as well, in particular to Federico Bernardeschi and Douglas Costa, but their roster is deeper and Mario Mandzukic and Sami Khedira, who could be big factors offensively, recently returned. Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala continue to be productive, while Juan Cuadrado is taking advantage of his increased playing time, but he has never been particularly clinical.
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