Lazio v Inter
Both Teams To Score – 8/15 (1.53)
Maurizio Sarri’s Lazio side may have failed to score against Torino last weekend, but they will welcome Inter to the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Friday night expecting a positive outcome against the 2020/21 Serie A champions, as unbeaten in the last three home games against the Nerazzurri.
However, having conceded in their last six games against the Milanese giants in the capital, the Biancocelesti are likely to need more than one goal to overcome former coach Simone Inzaghi’s men, and will hope Sergej Milinkovic-Savic will continue an impressive scoring record against Inter.
The Serbian attacker has five goals in seven matches against the Nerazzurri and, although yet to score this season, has contributed to Lazio having the best shot accuracy in Italy (67%) so far. In second place on that list are Inter, with 57%, so goalkeepers Samir Handanovic and Ivan Provedel should be in for a busy evening.
Scoring five times in their opening two fixtures is impressive enough, but when you realise that Inter have spread those goals across five different players it highlights how they have goal scoring threats all across the pitch, and Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez are still finding their partnership rhythm again.
Throw four-time Serie A top scorer Ciro Immobile into the mix and you have a recipe guaranteed to serve up a feast of goals at the Stadio Olimpico..
Juventus v Roma
Under 2.5 goals – 5/6 (1.85)
On his return to Serie A last season, Roma coach Jose Mourinho failed to overcome Juventus on both occasions and will know that a third consecutive defeat to the Old Lady of Italian football, it will be just the second time in his career that has happened.
With that on the Portuguese tactician’s mind, I expect a organised and determined display at the Juventus Stadium from the Giallorossi on Saturday evening, with the primary focus on leaving Turin undefeated. With just eight shots on target from the Bianconeri in their opening two fixtures, the capital club might find their task easier than expected.
That neither side has conceded in a combined 360 minutes of domestic football so far, shows that we could be in for another tight contest in Turin and, having won 1-0 more times than any other Serie A side since Mourinho arrived, it would not surprise me if they did so again.
In 2022/23, Roma have had more attempts (47) and shots on target (17) than anyone, and Paulo Dybala, who is the Juventus Stadium’s all-time top scorer with 68 goals, returns to his former home, but the once resolute Bianconeri defence has not completely collapsed since the departure of Giorgio Chiellini this summer.
Therefore, I expect plenty of excitement when the two Scudetto hopefuls face off, but very few goals.
Fiorentina v Napoli
Over 2.5 goals – 4/6 (1.65)
Against newly promoted Monza last weekend, Napoli broke the record for goals (9) in the opening two games of a Serie A season, adding a 4-0 win to a 5-2 victory over Hellas Verona on matchday one, and when they travel to Florence on Sunday night, I can see no reason why their goal scoring exploits will not continue.
Fiorentina may have drawn 0-0 at Empoli last time out, but that was the first time the Viola had failed to score away from home in over a year, and played out a five-goal thriller with Cremonese recently, that highlighted a somewhat vulnerable defensive line if put under pressure.
With an abundance of attacking talent at coach Luciano Spalletti’s disposal, Fiorentina will undergo a significant challenge trying to stop Napoli tearing apart their back line at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, with new Partenopei signings Giovanni Simeone and Giacomo Raspadori itching to opening their accounts with the Partenopei.
Current first-choice striker Victor Osimhen is also a constant threat, with nine goals and three assists in his last 12 games, while Khvicha Kvaratskhelia is having a stunning start to his Napoli career with three goals already.
Midfielder Giacomo Bonaventura had a goal disallowed against Empoli and has scored five times against the Neapolitan during his career, but having won their last three fixtures in Florence by two goals or more, Napoli provide the biggest goal scoring threat.