Serie A Week Two Preview
After a week of European action all domestic leagues resume. In Italy there are two huge matches in week two that are sure to get the mouth watering.
Saturday evening sees Luis Enrique’s Roma revolution travel to Inter Milan. It has been a disappointing week for both clubs as the opening day’s fixtures did not really go to plan for either club. Gasperini’s vision of Inter Milan playing his preferred 3-4-3 formation was exposed in week one as the Nerazurri travelled to Palermo. Diego Milito grabbed a brace and Diego Forlan got himself on the score sheet on his debut appearance but it did not help as Palermo defeated their rivals 4-3. It was a game full of defensive errors and everyone but Milito looked confused as to how to play in this system. Mauro Zarate started the game but after a low key half an hour he was substituted. Gasperini left Sneijder out and player’s looked like this was the first time they had played together.
The problem for Gasperini was deepened in the Champions League when Trabzonspor travelled to the San Siro. He reverted to a 4-4-2 formation but they were still defeated 1-0 by the Turkish club and Inter’s boss is already under some serious pressure. Another slip up against what is considered to be a big rival and the clock will be ticking.
Roma didn’t compete mid week as they had already been knocked out of the Europa League at the qualification stage. The disappointment came last weekend as the first home game for Luis Enrique in the league ended in a very surprising 2-1 defeat. Cagliari were 2-0 up until De Rossi scored in stoppage time to try and make the score line look respectable. It doesn’t get any easier for Enrique and his array of newly acquired stars as they travel to Inter looking for a response. This could be the perfect time to play Inter as they are wounded. Roma will fancy their chances but it looks like it could be a very nervy encounter in which both teams will not want to lose. A draw looks like something both managers would probably take.
In the other titanic clash of the weekend AC Milan take a trip to Naples. It has been a much better week for these two sides. Milan came from two goals down last Friday to take a point at home against Lazio, which could have been better but without Ibrahimovic they drew with European Champions Barcelona at the Nou Camp in mid week. Pato and Thiago Silva were on the score sheet as Milan shocked the Catalan giants.
Napoli on the other hand have had an almost perfect week. A 3-1 win away at Cesena on the opening weekend was followed up by a 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium against money bags Manchester City. Edinson Cavani was on the score sheet against City and Napoli could have gone on to win that game and proved that City’s pre match odds of 4/11 were ridiculously short.
Napoli only took one point off of the top sides last season and that was part of the reason why their chase for the title ended. They have more steel in midfield this term and at 6/4 could be worth beating a Milan side that look soft at the back. It will all count on whether Napoli’s front three can get the better of the big game nerves that cost them last season. Hamsik was linked with a move to Milan in the summer and odds of 2/1 to score anytime look tasty.
Lazio, who proved tricky opposition for the champions last week host Genoa and should have too much in attack for them on Sunday afternoon at 8/11. Juventus are the same price and travel to Siena after an impressive opening day victory in their new stadium They will look to continue this form away from home and keep up a 100% record.
The value of the weekend looks to be either at Udinese at home to Fiorentina at 6/5. Any team with a prolific a striker as Di Natale is well worth a bet. The other value bet could be Palermo who were very impressive as Inter were poor last week at 23/10 away at Atalanta. They will be buoyed from last week and their momentum may give them the edge in what will be a tight contest.
The rest of the fixtures include Novara’s trip to Cagliari on Saturday, Bologna hosting Lecce, Parma at home to Chievo and Cesena’s trip to Catania.