Genoa – Milan
As usual, Mario Balotelli is giving his manager headaches. This time, though, they are the good kind. After watching the striker score and impress during the win over Udinese on Tuesday, Sinisa Mihajlovic must reconsider how to structure his forward line. Reports on Friday suggested that Carlos Bacca might lose his place, making way for Luiz Adriano to return, despite leading the team with three goals so far.
Whatever system Mihajlovic settles on, you would back Milan to keep on scoring, as they have done six times in games against Palermo and Udinese over the last week. Their weakness is at the other end of the pitch but Genoa, missing centre-forwards Serge Gakpé and Leonardo Pavoletti due to injuries, as well as Goran Pandev through suspension, are not best equipped to exploit it.
Away win – 2.30
Bologna – Udinese
Stefano Colantuono’s job as Udinese manager is already said to be at risk following a miserable start to the season. His team has lost four straight since stunning Juventus on the opening weekend and there were reports – publically rejected by defender Maurizio Domizzi – that players had criticised the manager during a meeting with team owners Giampaolo and Gino Pozzo on Wednesday.
Bologna, though, are not the most imposing opposition. Their only points so far came from a scarcely merited 1-0 victory over Frosinone – and their goal that day is the only one they have scored in their last four outings.
Under 0.5 goals for home team – 2.95
Sassuolo – Chievo
Recent editions of this fixture have not exactly made for spectacular viewing, with just three goals scored in the past four meetings, but things might be different this time around. Accustomed to battling against relegation, Sassuolo and Chievo have instead both flown out of the blocks, occupying third and fourth place respectively at the start of the weekend – as well as scoring 17 times between them. With confidence so high, I think we might see a more open encounter than usual.
Over 2.5 goals – 2.33
Torino – Palermo
Torino’s unbeaten start was ended by Chievo this week, but this remains an encouraging start to the campaign, and they have been especially impressive at home – beating Fiorentina and Sampdoria so far. Palermo are not traditionally good travellers, and might also be without starting goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino.
Home win – 1.78
Verona – Lazio
One of only three teams left in Serie A without a win – and the only ones within that group who were playing in the top-flight last season – Verona can only hope the Lazio team that shows up here is closer to the one that lost 5-0 to Napoli last weekend, than it is to the one that beat Genoa on Wednesday.
Either way, the hosts’ lack of a reliable goalscorer, in Luca Toni’s absence, limits their potential. A point, just like the ones they achieved at home to Roma and Torino, is probably as much as they can hope for.
Draw – 3.50
Inter – Fiorentina
First place takes on second at San Siro, where Inter will once again be called upon to prove that their perfect start to this season is more than just an illusion. Four of their five victories so far have been with a 1-0 scoreline and the fifth, over Carpi, was still by a one-goal margin.
Fiorentina, too, have kept four clean sheets in five matches. The form book suggests this should be a low-scoring game and yet, with Inter’s partnership of Mauro Icardi and Stevan Jovetic playing well off one another, and both Jakub Blaszczykowski and Khouma Babacar in scoring form for the visitors, I actually think we might see a few goals.
Inter 2-1 Fiorentina – 9.50