Empoli vs Fiorentina
Both Teams To Score – 1/2 (1.5)
Regardless of when fixtures between these two sides from the Metropolitan City of Florence fall in the Serie A calendar, they always deliver action packed, highly charged encounters, and goals. With recent matches between the duo, producing an average of 2.25 goals per game.
Empoli may have drawn a blank against Spezia on the opening weekend of the campaign and Fiorentina fired three goals past newly promoted Cremonese, but this is a clash with their Tuscan neighbours, and they will look to send the home supporters away with three valuable points. The Azzurri will take confidence from winning three of the last five top flight fixtures.
However, during their opening day victory, the Viola fired in the most shots in Serie A (28) and their new arrival Luka Jovic was one of three players to have the most shots last weekend, and will want to add to his debut goal. Although not scoring, on-loan Empoli attacker Sam Lammers was one of that trio, which highlights the team’s ability to produce, and Mattia Destro has scored four times against Fiorentina during his career.
With just seven draws in the previous 30 clashes between the pair, I expect neither side to settle for a point when the final whistle blows at the Stadio Carlo Castellani, and that means two sides fighting for goals right until the very last second of play.
Napoli v Monza
Napoli to Win – 2/5 (1.4)
On Sunday evening, Napoli and Monza for the first time in 22 years, but that 2-2 draw in Naples in January 2000 will matter little when the two teams line up at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona. As will the fact that the Partenopei have just four wins in 12 against the side from Lombardia.
Despite several high-profile departures during the summer, Napoli looked at their attacking best during a 5-2 victory over Hellas Verona last weekend, and will view the newly promoted club as the perfect opponents to help them start a title challenge with another three points. Particularly as Biancorossi arrives on the back of a 2-1 loss to Torino, when hoping to kick start their first ever Serie A campaign.
In recent seasons, the Neapolitans have set off at a fantastic speed. Winning their first two fixtures in four of the last five years, and the one exception was when an all conquering Juventus stopped them in 2019/20. While under coach Luciano Spalletti, they have averaged 2.10 points per game in Serie A. The Italian tactician simply does not know how to set them up to do anything other than go searching for all three points and I expect this match to be no different.
Even former striker Andrea Petagna, who will return with Monza and has scored three goals in six matches played against them in Serie A, cannot stop them. And will probably get overshadowed by former teammate Victor Osimhen, who has eight goals and three assists in his last 10 top flight games, and new striking arrival Giovanni Simeone.
Sampdoria v Juventus
Over 2.5 goals – 4/5 (1.8)
On the opening weekend of the Serie A season, Juventus scored three times without reply against Sassuolo and, despite losing Angel di Maria to an abductor injury during that win, they will expect a similarly comprehensive victory of Sampdoria at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.
Bianconeri striker Dusan Vlahovic also starred alongside the Argentinean playmaker in Turin, and will be confident in adding to the two goals that he netted at the Juventus Stadium. Having already scored five goals in four games against the Blucerchiati, and three of those strikes coming in the city of Genoa.
The Old Lady of Italian football has won each of their last six matches with Sampdoria and can set a new record of consecutive wins with another victory, and on their last three visits to the Marassi triumphed by a margin of at least two goals. Considering that Sampdoria has lost the most games in 2022 of any Serie A team, it could be a long 90 minutes for the home supporters.
Although the Blucerchiati were goalless as they fell to a 2-0 defeat to Atalanta last weekend though, Francesco Caputo did have a strike controversially ruled out for a foul in the build-up, and will be keen to rectify that even against a side of Juventus’ stature.