Milan – Empoli
Mario Balotelli returned to Milan this week in a transfer that, on the surface, does not make a whole lot of sense. The Rossoneri were deeply disappointing in their opening fixture against Fiorentina, but their problems lay more in midfield and defence than in an attack that never got any service to begin with.
Balotelli does have a long-standing relationship with Sinisa Mihajlovic, and scored 26 goals in 43 Serie A games last time he was here. He can help Milan, although one imagines he will begin on the subs’ bench on Saturday. The Rossoneri ought to be capable of flattening Empoli with or without him, but after last week’s shabby showing we cannot take that for granted. Plus these teams drew both times they met last season.
Draw and both teams to score – 5.80
Bologna – Sassuolo
There was a time not so long ago when Bologna would have lorded it over their Emilian neighbours. Nowadays the shoe is on the other foot. Sassuolo are the established Serie A team – enjoying a third-straight season at this level – whereas their hosts have only just returned to the top tier.
The hosts will have Mattia Destro ready to play from the start this week, and potentially his fellow new arrival Godfred Donsah too. But after their impressive win over Napoli last week, I like the odds on the visitors better.
Away win – 3.20