Verona – Roma
The new season begins at the Bentegodi, where Roma will be eager to make a statement. After fading badly in the second half of last season, the Giallorossi must prove they remain worthy of their status as Juventus’s chief rivals for the title. The newly constructed three-man attack of Edin Dzeko, Mohamed Salah and Iago Falqué has every chance to make a bright start against opponents who conceded 65 goals in Serie A last season – the most of any team who avoided relegation.
But Verona, too, have reinforced up front. Luca Toni was Serie A’s joint-top scorer in 2014-15 and now has Giampaolo Pazzini alongside him. Both are getting up in years, but each boasts the ruthlessness to make the most of scarce opportunities.
Over 2.5 goals – 1.98
Lazio – Bologna
Bologna have replaced no fewer than seven members of their starting XI this summer, but their latest addition might be the most exciting. Mattia Destro struggled to find his place at first Roma, then Milan, but has the tools to thrive at a smaller club. He is, at heart, a simple poacher who offers little to team build-up play but finds ways to score with very few touches. For a team that is unlikely to dominate opponents on its return to the top-flight, he looks like the ideal fit.
Lazio are a superior side and typically robust at the back. But with one eye on their Champions League playoff second leg against Bayer Leverkusen, they might be vulnerable to such a single-minded opponent.
Both teams to score – 2.00