Serie A 2013/14: Round 3 Preview – Double derby treat after international break
Serie A returns after the international break with fantastic line up of fixtures.
The round kicks off with one of the biggest games of the season as the Derby d’Italia takes places at the San Siro as the early Saturday evening game.
Diego Milito looks set to return to the Inter bench after the serious knee injury he suffered earlier this year while Mirko Vucinic is only fit enough for the Juve bench following a knock while playing for Montenegro.
Later on Saturday there are two fixtures with Napoli hosting Atalanta and A.C. Milan traveling to Torino.
Napoli have enjoyed a perfect start to the Benitez regime with captain Marek Hamsik shining with four goals in the opening two rounds of the season making him the top scorer in the league.
Atalanta meanwhile got back on track before the international break with a 2-0 home win over Torino after an opening day defeat to Cagliari.
Torino themselves entertain Milan, with three points to their name after two Serie games.
However Milan’s new signing Kaka is likely to make all the headlines on Saturday night as he is set to return to the Rossoneri side after four years away at Real Madrid.
The early game on Sunday sees Fiorentina host Cagliari, looking to maintain their 100% record in Serie A.
La Viola’s new forward partnership of Giuseppe Rossi and Mario Gomez have hit the ground running with five goals between them already in domestic matches.
Cagliari should be boosted by the return of Davide Astori who will strengthen their back-line after the Sardinian club have conceded four goals in their opening two fixtures.
Chievo travel to the Capital to face Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico, in one of four Sunday afternoon games, with both sides coming off the back of heavy defeats in round two.
The two sides conceded four goals each, with Lazio losing 4-1 at the Juventus stadium and Chievo being beaten 2-4 at home to Napoli.
In this fixture last season, Chievo shocked the Biancocelesti beating them 0-1 with a goal from striker Alberto Paloschi.
Livorno play Catania, with the two teams experiencing very different previous matches in Serie A.
Livorno earned an impressive 1-4 away victory at Sassuolo while Catania were heavily beaten at home by Inter having previously lost away in Florence in round one.
Catania struggled against the “smaller” teams last year in Serie A, suffering defeats to Pescara and Palermo who were both relegated to Serie B.
Udinese will welcome Bologna this weekend to the Stadio Friuli hoping to maintain their incredible record against the Rossoblu.
The Zebrette beat Parma in week two and have not lost to Bologna in Udine in 19 meetings.
Bologna are still to pick up three points this season in Serie A and have just one win in their last dozen league games.
Verona’s Week three home game against Sassuolo could well be considered a relegation six-pointer, with particular importance for the visitors.
Sassuolo have gone down to successive defeat and need to get off the mark soon before they become cut adrift.
The Gialloblu, however, are already off the mark in Serie A after beating Milan on the opening day however the hero of that game, Luca Toni, is a major doubt for Sunday’s match.
The late game on Sunday night is the Derby della Laterna as Sampdoria host Genoa.
Genoa are yet to pick up a point after defeats against Inter and Fiorentina, while Samp have a solitary point which they picked up away at Bologna.
The fixture is the first derby for new Genoa coach Fabio Liverani while experienced Samp boss Delio Rossi is used to this fiery and intense fixture.
The final game of the round sees Roma travel to Parma.
Roma are one of the five teams who still have a perfect record in Serie A and should be able to call upon Kevin Strootman who made his return from injury during the international break.
Parma only have one point to their name after an opening day point against Chievo at home however Parma did beat the Giallorossi 3-2 in a rain soaked game at the Ennio Tardini last season.
A correct result is worth TWO points. A correct score earns FIVE points.
Last week Richard got two correct scores while correctly guessing six correct results. His score of 22 saw him beat Sam, who got seven correct results earning him a score of 14.
This season we will be keeping a table of the total scores of Richard and his Guests in the table below
There is also the individual table of the best weekly score, which after Round 2 is led by Dov
|Dov (week 1)||26|
|Richard (week 2)||22|
|Richard (week 1)||16|
|Sam (week 2)||14|
Follow Richard Hinman on Twitter: @RichardHinman