Juventus will Aim to win a Record 6th straight Scudetto Trophy
All eyes will be on Juventus for the next few weeks after their star box-to-box midfielder Paul Pogba was sold to Manchester United for a world record fee of €105M. The question will now be how Allegri will use the likes of Pjanic, Marchisio and Khedira to fill the gap left by the Frechman. The Serie Champions have had a good summer with the likes of Higuain, Benatia and Pjanic strengthening the squad and have also done well in the pre-season friendlies, beating the likes of Tottenham Hotspurs and West Ham.
Despite the departure of front man Higuain, Napoli have had a positive preseason scoring 21 goals in the 5 games they have played to date, albeit against a lot of minnows.
Roma have been pipped to finish second by the bookies even though they will definitely miss the quality of midfielder Pjanic. The Romans most impressive preseason victory coming against Liverpool in an exciting 2-1 win with Salah and Dzeko grabbing the goals. Spalletti has his work cut out for him as he looks to keep up with Juventus in the race for the title.
Roma Vs Udinese
Previous matches between Roma and Udinese
Matches Played: 48. Roma Win: 24. Draw: 10. Udinese Win: 14
Roma have had a busy summer replenishing their ranks ahead of the upcoming season which includes Champions League football. Coach Spalletti has so far brought in the likes of Salah and El Shaarawy upfront, with Fazio, Juan Jesus and Rudiger expected to shore up the back line. Despite losing key midfielder Pjanic the Romans will expect to atleast secure a top three finish. Following a poor campaign last year, in which Udinese finished just one point above the relegation zone, the club already has signed six players, mainly attacking minded. This might be another tough season for Iachini’s side who were once a force to be reckon with in the Serie A.
My Verdict: Roma 2 : 0 Udinese
Juventus Vs Fiorentina
Previous matches between Juventus and Fiorentina
Matches Played: 45. Juventus Win: 24. Draw: 15. Fiorentina Win: 6
Reigning champions Juventus have had a very positive summer market, with the likes of Higuain, Pjanic, Benatia, Dani Alves and Pjaca all brought in to further boast their Champions League prospects are they hunt for this elusive trophy, the club has not won in 20 years. Allegri will feel confident he has enough depth in his squad to guide his side to their sixth consecutive Scudetto especially considering how they have depleted their closest rivals of arguably their best player respectively. Fiorentina have had a quiet summer and I expect a few more signings before the close of the transfer window as Montella looks to push his side closer to a top three finish.
My Verdict: Juventus 3 : 1 Fiorentina
Milan Vs Torino
Previous matches between Milan and Torino
Matches Played: 28. Milan Win: 14. Draw: 12. Torino Win: 2
Once an European powerhouse, Milan have been reduced to a mid-table Serie A side after a number of years of poor investment and planning by the Rossoneri hierarchy. To date the club have not signed a single player and a Chinese buy-out might just might provide the club with much needed funds and spare the fans another tough season. Torino maintained their mid-table status last season, as the club looks to slowly but surely challenge for a better finish come May. The addition of Falque and Ljajic will certainly bolster their front line and I reckon they can give this Milan side some problems.
My Verdict: Milan 1 : 0 Torino
Atalanta Vs Lazio
Previous matches between Atalanta and Lazio
Matches Played: 35. Atalanta Win: 9. Draw: 8. Lazio Win: 18
Atalanta had a season to forgot as they finished just seven points above the bottom three thanks to a late surge of positive results very late on in the year. Lazio were also extremely inconsistent last term, winning a few surprise encounters against sides above them in the standings but also dropping far too many points versus the minnows. Both sides will approach this game cautiously and will settle for a point.
My Verdict: Atalanta 1 : 1 Lazio
Bologna Vs Crotone
Previous matches between Bologna and Crotone
Matches Played: 7. Bologna Win: 3. Draw: 1. Crotone Win: 3
Bologna will be fairly pleased with their Serie A survival last season after being promoted in 2015 and will look to improve further this season. The Rossolu couldn’t have asked for an easier start against newly promoted Crotone, who although have brought in a few reinforcements in the likes of youth loanees and fringe players from larger clubs. I reckon they will struggle initially until they find their feet with the big boys.
My Verdict: Bologna 1 : 0 Crotone
Chievo Vs Inter Milan
Previous matches between Chievo and Inter Milan
Matches Played: 28. Chievo Win: 4. Draw: 7. Inter Milan Win: 17
Chievo punched well above their weight last season by finished among the top half of the table and will hope they have done enough over the summer to strengthen their squad. Inter have had a fairly decent transfer market but have might be facing a crisis in management as Mancini looks likely to be shown the door just a few days before their first Serie A game, with Frank De Boer his likely replacement. Mancini’s departure, after a month of tension with the club directors, might definitely entice Chievo to fight out for a draw.
My Verdict: Chievo 1 : 1 Inter Milan
Empoli Vs Sampdoria
Previous matches between Empoli and Sampdoria
Matches Played: 27. Empoli Win: 9. Draw: 6. Sampdoria Win: 12
After a superb start to their season Empoli lost momentum after the Christmas break, however their early season form was enough to ensure an outstanding 8th place finish. The same cannot be said for Sampdoria, who until a few years ago were a force to be reckoned with but have lost almost all of their boasting rights after finishing just two points above the relegation zone last term. Both sides have brought in a handful of reinforcements each, however I predict the homeside can win this.
My Verdict: Empoli 1 : 0 Sampdoria
Genoa Vs Cagliari
Previous matches between Genoa and Cagliari
Matches Played: 30. Genoa Win: 10. Draw: 6. Cagliari Win: 14
Genoa’s will probably be happy with their mid-table position and have signed no less than five players over the summer to further boast their prospects this season. After being relegated two seasons ago Cagliari came straight back into the Serie A after winning the lower division. The Sardinians also signed five players during the close season as they look to retain their top flight status this term.
My Verdict: Genoa 1 : 1 Cagliari
Pescara Vs Napoli
Previous matches between Pescara and Napoli
Matches Played: 10. Pescara Win: 0. Draw: 2. Napoli Win: 8
Pescara are back in the Serie A after a number of years in the lower division however I reckon the players signed to date lack the quality to ensure survival in Italy’s top flight. Napoli lost their star front man Higuain to rivals Juventus as they hope Giaccherini will provide enough creative spark to make up for the goals the Argentinian used to provide. The Southerners once again failed to win the elusive Scudetto after failing to keep the pace with eventual winners Juventus. This is a must win for the visitors.
My Verdict: Pescara 0 : 1 Napoli
Palermo Vs Sassuolo
Previous matches between Palermo and Sassuolo
Matches Played: 4. Palermo Win: 1. Draw: 2. Sassuolo Win: 1
Finishing just a point above the bottom three, and only because of a late positive run of form, Palermo will be hoping for a much better campaign this time around and Sassuolo will be a tough opening round test for the Sicilians. Sassuolo qualified for the Europa League last season, quite a feat considering their debut season in the Serie A was just four years ago. Palermo is a tough place to visit but I reckon the visitors can win this.
My Verdict: Palermo 0 : 1 Sassuolo