Serie A has returned in impressive fashion, with a number of teams separating themselves from the rest. Milan has picked up exactly from where they left off last season under Stefano Pioli emerging as legitimate Scudetto contenders, while Sassuolo continues to surprise. Napoli is worth monitoring as well, and is yet to lose on the field this season, while Juventus need to start recording results sooner rather than later.
And what better place to start than in matchday six? Here are three things to watch ahead of the next matchday:
1) Can Napoli overcome an in-form Sassuolo?
Gennaro Gattuso’s men have started the season in sensational form, getting off to a near-perfect start after five games. Napoli’s upcoming clash against Sassuolo is a good barometer of the side’s progression, especially considering the Neroverdi’s storming start to the season. Sassuolo has since emerged as darkhorse contenders for the European spots, going unbeaten and claiming 11 points from its first five games. Francesco Caputo has been deadly in front of goal and will be raring to go against the Partenopei.
Napoli is just coming off an impressive win against Real Sociedad and will be looking to build on it. Sunday’s affair will be telling for both sides and will serve as an early litmus test to Napoli’s Scudetto credentials.
2) Can Juventus get its season back on track?
Juventus currently finds itself in an unusual position, trailing the league-leading Milan by four points. In fact, the Italian champions are yet to win a game on the field in Serie A since their opener against Sampdoria. A clash against the newly-promoted Spezia is a good opportunity to right the ship, but as their draw against Crotone showed, anything can happen.
Ronaldo’s inclusion remains questionable, despite testing negative for COVID-19 on Friday, but the Bianconeri should have enough firepower to get a result. While it is still early days, the pressure is slowly mounting on Andrea Pirlo in the hot-seat. A poor result against Spezia will only add further fuel to the fire.
3) Will Atalanta turn it around?
Atalanta has shown early signs of slowing down this season, suffering two consecutive defeats against Napoli and Sampdoria. Gian Piero Gasperini’s men have been uncharacteristically inconsistent in recent weeks, conceding seven goals in their last two games. Most recently, they came back from two goals down to draw against Ajax in their second Champions League game and will be hoping it can act as an early turning point for them.
Gli Orobici demonstrated they can handle competing on multiple fronts last season, but will now have to dig deep and do it all over again. Atalanta started its Champions League campaign in impressive fashion, picking up four points from two games, but will need to translate their European form to Italy. Crotone is no push-overs, going toe-to-toe with Juve, but if Atalanta wants to become top-four regulars, these are must-win games.
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