The wandering in the international break desert is over and the clubs are ready to resume the season. The Azzurri had a rough go over the last week plus but look poised to again make the World Cup. As we begin matchday 3 it will be interesting to see what shape players return in and how effective they will be with their club teams after a quick international “break”.
To celebrate the return of Serie A, which means everything is awesome again, we will preview the weekend with appropriate quotes from The Lego Movie:
“I only work in black and sometimes very very dark grey”: Juventus v. Chievo
As we say every week, Juventus on paper looks good but their results on the pitch so far have been only ok. The large scorelines cover less than stellar performances, yet they still sit atop the table. Chievo look overmatched on paper, but with the massive fixture against Barcelona on Tuesday, Max Allegri may choose to rotate his squad.
“We’re about to crash into the sun. Yeah but it’s gonna look really cool” Sampdoria v. Roma
This could be a defining week for Roma, even though the season has just begun. First up is travelling to Sampdoria to face a surprisingly undefeated Sampdoria side. After that is a midweek Champions League match against Atletico Madrid. Stumble like the club did against Inter, and Roma – who’s still looking for a new identity – could be on the backheel in two major competitions.
“Are you ready? Yes, I am. I think”: Inter v. SPAL
Luciano Spalletti made Italy fans take notice with Inter’s impressive 3-1 win at Roma. Then the international break came. We’ll see if the momentum they had will continue. This match features two of the most in-form strikers in Serie A with Mauro Icardi (Inter) and Marco Borriello (SPAL).
“You are capable of amazing things. Because you are the Special. And so am I”: Lazio v. AC Milan
Milan set an impressive club record this week: 17 players rostered on a national team this weekend. That means the club has an immense roster of talent but also a number of tired legs. Facing them is Lazio, a club that like Milan has high expectations although their results so far have been less consistent. Jose Sosa is gone for Milan but a player of interest who will be there is former Lazio captain Lucas Biglia.
“All I’m asking for is total perfection”: Atalanta v. Sassuolo
Atalanta have stumbled hard out of the gate this season but it will only get worse as the club now has to contend with midweek Europa League matches. The first step to reclaiming the magic of last season is grabbing all three points at home against Sassuolo who were soundly defeated by Torino their last time out.
“But as unspecial as I am, you are a thousand-billion times more unspecial than me”: Udinese v. Genoa
This is an absolutely key match for Udinese and they must get all three points. Why? Their next four matches are at Milan, hosting Torino, at Roma, and hosting Sampdoria. They could be fighting for their Serie A lives before the calendar turns to October. For Genoa, a draw with Sassuolo and a scare into Juve means they are in the table where they should be and showing the promise of more, but need to take points in matches like this to stay mid table.
“I’m just gonna come right out, I have no idea what’s going on”: Verona v. Fiorentina
The positive for Fiorentina is their record in the last ten competitive matches against the Gialloblu – 7 wins, 2 draws, 1 defeat. However, Verona have been playing an attractive style of football that has kept them competitive so far in Serie A. If Fiorentina can pull together some pieces against a home side with some key injuries, they could spring a surprise.
“Your mind is already so prodigiously empty that there is nothing in it to clear away in the first place”: Cagliari v. Crotone
Expect to see the debut of Leonardo Pavoletti for Cagliari. The tall striker was a last second acquisition from Napoli, and expectations are high that he can fill the star void left by Marco Borriello. For Crotone, they need a goal, as literally, they are one of two clubs without a goal on the season.
“He’s coming, cover your butts”: Benevento v. Torino
Andrea Belotti remains in Torino and already has three goals in all competitions this season. He and exciting Torino travel to newbies Benevento who are still looking for that first Serie A win of the season.
“We need more ideas like it! Ideas so dumb and bad that no one would ever think they could possibly be useful”: Bologna v. Napoli
Napoli keep rolling and are a goal or two away from sitting atop the league. Before they dive into their European competition they face a Bologna side who are off to a solid start with a draw versus Torino and a victory over Benevento.