Fiorentina – Genoa
There could be a new face at the Stadio Artemio Franchi this weekend, though the home fans are more anxious to see the return of a familiar one. Fiorentina completed one of Italy’s more intriguing deadline-day deals before the international pause, picking up Jakub Blaszczykowski on loan. The Poland midfielder played a key role in Borussia Dortmund’s run to the Champions League final in 2012-13 but has since been plagued by injury.
That gives him something in common with Giuseppe Rossi, who made his latest return from years of knee trouble as a substitute during Fiorentina’s loss to Torino. The Viola would love to have him back in their starting line-up, especially after a pair of unconvincing displays from Nikola Kalinic as the lone striker in Paulo Sousa’s 4-2-3-1, but the word is that Rossi still needs a few more weeks to achieve full fitness. In the meantime, Fiorentina may continue to rely on players behind the attack for goals.
Josip Ilicic to score – 3.50
Frosinone – Roma
For the first time since October 2013, Roma hold a four-point lead over Juventus. Normally we would scoff at the suggestion of consulting a league table this early in a season, but on this occasion the gap is relevant. The reigning champions are not used to playing catch-up, and will need to adjust to a new kind of pressure if Roma can keep on winning from here.
That is no given, however. The Giallorossi have a patchy recent track record against Serie A’s lesser lights and last season dropped points to seven out of Serie A’s bottom 10 teams. They will be missing Miralem Pjanic, the star of their win over Juventus, for this match and might also have one eye on next Wednesday’s Champions League meeting with Barcelona. The scope for an upset is there.
Both teams to score – 2.05
Juventus – Chievo
This is the first time in Juventus’s history that they have lost their first two games of a Serie A campaign. They will need to shape up quickly to avoid extending that run any further. Chievo arrive in Turin having claimed maximum points from their opening fixtures and scored seven goals along the way.
Three of those arrived from the boot of Alberto Paloschi, and the striker had another strike wrongly disallowed against Lazio, too. He is a man in form at a time when the champions are not.
Paloschi to score but Juventus to win – 12.0