NEWS
Friday September 8 2017
Ones to watch in Week 3

Serie A returns after the international break, with several of the Scudetto contenders having one eye on Europe.

Roma will have the weekend off ahead of their clash with Atletico Madrid, their clash with Sampdoria postponed due to fear of flooding in Genoa.

There are still plenty of exciting fixtures to look forward to though, here’s what to look out for in Week 3.

Douglas Costa and Federico Bernardeschi

Juventus Coach Massimiliano Allegri has admitted that he’ll rotate his squad for the visit of Chievo, with Barcelona at the Camp Nou on Tuesday.

Gianluigi Buffon will be rested, while Giorgio Chiellini, Claudio Marchisio and Sami Khedira miss out through injury.

While Allegri won’t make wholesale changes, this is likely to be the first time the Turin crowd gets a real look at some of the Bianconeri’s summer signings.

Wojciech Szczesny will make his debut in goal, and Blaise Matuidi is confirmed to start in midfield but the real anticipation is for Douglas Costa and Federico Bernardeschi.

The expensively recruited wingers have seen just 16 minutes of Serie A action between them so far, but could be given a first real crack of the whip on Saturday evening.

Juan Cuadrado is suspended for the Barça game, so is likely to start, but the Coach has hinted that both Costa and Bernardeschi will feature.

Read our Juventus-Chievo preview here

First real test for Milan

Big things are expected of the Rossoneri this season after a lavish summer recruitment drive, and they boast a 100 per cent record in competitive games so far.

With all due respect to the likes of CSU Craiova and Crotone though, Vincenzo Montella’s new-look side is yet to face a real test, but that all changes on Sunday night.

Milan travel to Rome to face Lazio at the Olimpico, with Simone Inzaghi’s side having finished seven points above them last season.

An impressive showing against Juventus in the Supercoppa indicates the Biancocelesti won’t be dropping off this year, so this will be the first real test of how far the Diavolo have come.

Click here to read out Lazio-Milan preview

Can Inter continue their resurgence?

On paper, Inter should be able to sweep SPAL aside in Sunday’s early kick-off, but these are exactly the kind of fixtures in which the Nerazzurri tend to stumble.

Following impressive wins over Fiorentina and Roma, Luciano Spalletti’s side have allowed Interisti to dream again, and around 60,000 are expected at San Siro for the clash with the newly-promoted side.

Luciano Spalletti noted today that the Beneamata need “seven or eight more wins” this season to challenge for the title, and it’s imperative that they take maximum points this weekend.

Click here to read our Inter-SPAL preview

Battle of the underdogs

Serie A always seems to throw up at least one feel good story per season, in which a provincial side defies the odds to reach Europe.

Udinese and Chievo have borne that standard in the past, but in the previous two campaigns it’s been Atalanta and Sassuolo.

The Neroverdi finished above Milan in the 2015-16 season to reach the Europa League, while last term the Bergamaschi astounded by finishing fourth, outdoing Lazio and both Milanese sides.

The underdogs meet in Bergamo on Sunday afternoon, with both hoping to defy the odds once again this season.

Click here to read our Atalanta-Sassuolo preview

Napoli return to the scene of the slaughter

It’s widely acknowledged that Napoli have been playing the best football in Italy for some time, and perhaps their landmark performance last season came at Bologna.

Marek Hamsik and Dries Mertens both fired in hat-tricks, as Maurizio Sarri’s men romped to a 7-1 victory at the Dall’Ara.

Things got so bad for the Rossoblu, their official English Twitter account was reduced to pleading for Hamsik to be withdrawn, lest he inflict further pain.

The Partenopei are going all-out for the Scudetto this year, and while another six goal margin of victory is unlikely, they’ll be keen to make another statement.

Click here to read our Bologna-Napoli preview