It is Week 3 of the Serie A season, but all teams are in just their second match following a strike during the first week of the season.
Fans should expect to see some fine matches as some of the league’s heavyweights are in action against one another.
Cagliari returns home after stunning Roma on its home field last week. Coach Massimo Ficcadenti’s side should feel good as it entertains newly promoted Novara, which earned a 2-2 tie with Chievo. Cagliari generally plays well at home and should be feeling good about after last week’s win. Veterans Andrea Cossu and Daniele Conti have provided solid leadership for the squad.
Prediction—Cagliari wins 2-0
AS Roma at Inter
If there is anything good about this match, it is that one of these squads may actually get a win and a boost of confidence, which neither team has right now.
Both were upset last weekend and to make matters worse, Inter fell at home to start its UEFA Champions League campaign.
Both sides are trying to find an identity, which makes this game very difficult to predict. The safest bet is to take a tie.
Prediction— 2-2 tie
Nobody expected Palermo to defeat Inter last weekend, and now they face their first road game of the season against Bergamo. Fabrizio Miccoli, who faced injury troubles last season, is back and ready to play. He scored twice against Inter in the 4-3 victory.
Atalanta drew with Genoa last week and will now try to eliminate its six-point deficit to start the season for involvement in a betting scandal.
Prediction— 1-1 Tie
Both sides are coming off 2-0 losses and while it is still early, each side could use three points. Both are expected to fight until the end to stay in Serie A.
Bologna is led by veteran Marco Di Vaio in the attack, while Lecce counters with David Di Michele.
Prediction— Bologna wins 1-0
Cesena has upgraded its talent, but Catania should have the upper hand playing at home.
Prediction— Catania wins 2-1
Genoa at Lazio
Lazio is coming off a 2-2 road tie at AC Milan, as is Genoa with Atalanta.
The addition of Djibril Cisse and Miroslav Klose in attack for Lazio appears to be a good move, as both veterans provide leadership and experience.
Genoa has a solid defense and a fine goalkeeper, but I'm looking for Lazio to get the three points.
Prediction— Lazio wins 3-2
Chievo at Parma
These two sides share much in common. For one, the distance between Verona and Parma is relatively short. Both sides wear yellow and blue and both are relatively equal in talent and expectations.
American midfielder Michael Bradley is expected to make his first start in this match for Chievo.
Prediction— 1-1 tie
Juventus at Siena
Both sides wear black and white, and coach Antonio Conte of Juventus was formerly Siena’s manager.
But that is where the comparisons end.
Juventus is clearly the more talented side. However, Siena is on its home field, which has the smallest dimensions of any pitch in Serie A. The setting has caused some difficulty for opponents in the past.
Juventus began the season with a 4-1 win over Parma, but look for things to be a little more difficult this time around.
Prediction— Juventus wins 2-0
Both sides picked up wins in their first matches of the season, so this should be an interesting match.
Not much has been expected from Fiorentina following the loss of some key players in the transfer market, but they could surprise.
Prediction— Udinese wins 3-2
AC Milan at Napoli
Not too many expected either of these sides to come up with ties in the UEFA Champions League at Barcelona and Manchester City, respectively. Both return a little banged up but full of confidence.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic for AC Milan and Ezequiel Lavezzi for Napoli are both questionable following minor injuries. This makes the acquisition of Goran Pandev so much more valuable for Napoli, as it gives them a legitimate backup for Lavezzi and or Edinson Cavani.
Despite these injuries, Napoli should still be tough to beat home.
Prediction— 1-1 tie