Roma – Carpi
“Life, in the end, is all about perspective,” wrote Massimo Cecchini as he summed up Roma’s position this week. If you had told Giallorossi’s supporters before the start of this season that they would be three points clear of Juventus after five games, most would have been quite content. Few, however, could have guessed that this would mean occupying ninth place with only two victories to their name.
Roma need another one here to wipe away the memories of Wednesday’s loss to Sampdoria. They had been good enough to win but instead conceded an own goal at the point when they seemed to be most in command. An uncharacteristically shaky defence is undermining them, but they have at least been scoring goals at home, while Carpi have conceded seven in two games on their travels.
Home win and both teams to score – 3.10
Napoli – Juventus
We could not accuse Juventus of being too predictable. Manager Massimiliano Allegri defied popular logic by declining to start his team’s €32m leading scorer, Paulo Dybala, on Wednesday despite the fact that both Mario Mandzukic and Alvaro Morata were injured. His team drew 1-1 at home to the previously pointless Frosinone.
Allegri has now fielded seven different starting XIs in as many games, and might well make it eight in eight on Saturday, with Stephan Lichtsteiner added to the club’s growing list of injury absentees. And yet, I find the odds on an away win here tempting. Napoli, despite bulldozing Lazio last week, have still ultimately won only a single league game so far under Maurizio Sarri – hardly enough to convince me that they deserve their status as clear favourites here.
Away win – 3.35