Dave Farrar predicts the Neroverdi will continue their remarkable campaign, while Sampdoria and Inter should provide goals galore and Napoli are too short at Torino.
“Sassuolo have won three games out of three against Empoli in their time in the top flight, and that’s a run I expect to continue. They look too big to me at around 2.0421/20, and I’m happy to put them up as the bet of this week.”
Sassuolo v Empoli
Live on Betfair Live Video and Eleven Sports 1
I was really impressed with the way that Sassuolo warmed to the task of taking on Juventus last weekend, and left the game with the feeling that Roberto De Zerbi is a coach who will go on to big things in Serie A.
De Zerbi impressed with Benevento last season, albeit in a lost cause, and has started well with Sassuolo, beating Inter and Genoa at home, and practising a very watchable style of football: open and entertaining, not afraid to take risks, ultimately effective.
De Zerbi appears to be managing his players well, in particular Domenico Berardi, a man who has divided opinion since he burst on to the Serie A scene, but one who has been excellent in this campaign, and who was one of the few positives to come out of Italy's dreadful recent displays.
Sassuolo face an Empoli team who have so far performed pretty much as you'd expect. They won their opening game, and have struggled since, scoring only once in their next three. They'll spend much of the season in and around the relegation zone, and should be a fairly comfortable task for this progressive Sassuolo side, who proved that they belonged against Juventus, and should get back to winning ways against weaker opposition.
Sassuolo have won three games out of three against Empoli in their time in the top flight, and that's a run I expect to continue. They look too big to me at around 2.0421/20, and I'm happy to put them up as the bet of this week.
Icardi lights up with Samp
Sampdoria v Inter
Live on Betfair Live Video and Eleven Sports 2
I really don't know what to make of Inter Milan. They were my pre-season tip to be the team that pushed Juve all the way, and yet now they are playing serious catch-up. They've already lost against Sassuolo and Parma, and yet showed great spirit and stickability to beat Spurs in midweek. They're good enough to go on a long winning run, but it had better start soon.
They'll have happy memories of Marassi and this opposition, having thumped Sampdoria 5-0 last season, but they're up against a rejuvenated Samp team who have started this campaign superbly.
Samp have been full of goals, and I expect that to continue here, and while I'm tempted to back them at 4.47/2 for the win, there is a chance that the Spurs result will galvanise Inter and we'll see the true nature of Luciano Spalletti's team.
Mauro Icardi has yet to score in this Serie A campaign, but he has an excellent record against his old team, as does Samp's Fabio Quagliarella against Inter. Samp have the best conversion rate of any team in the League this season, and while their front players stay sharp, they'll continue to pick up results, and I suspect that Inter will meet fire with fire here.
The way that both teams are likely to approach things make it very likely that there'll be goals though, and that seems the stand out bet.
Napoli too short for tough trip
Torino v Napoli
Live on Betfair Live Video and Eleven Sports 2
Having ground their way to a 1-0 win against Fiorentina, and then disappointed against Red Star in the Champions League, Napoli head to Torino and once again they look too short to come away with a win.
You can back Torino at 4.67/2 for the victory, and given the way that they played here against Roma on the opening day, that's a price which is worth a second look, but we should take advantage of the fact that Napoli are odds on and lay them here at 1.855/6.
Without wishing to repeat myself too much, Napoli aren't playing as well as their results suggest. They've won three out of four without really impressing, and are struggling a little to adapt to life under Carlo Ancelotti. They deserve credit for grinding out a win against a talented Viola team, but as they head for Turin, it's hard to forget the last time they travelled away from the San Paolo.
They were badly beaten by Sampdoria on that occasion, and Torino are a similar team to Samp. Well organised, strong in midfield, and with enough inspiration in forward areas in the shape of Iago Falque and Andrea Belotti (who has scored four in six appearances against Napoli) to suggest that they could cause an upset.
I want to keep the draw onside here, but this is not the same Napoli team of recent seasons, and they have stopped being a banker away from home, especially against those teams just below the top tier. They're too short here, and I'm happy to lay them.
Staked: 12 points
Returned: 15.86 points
P/L: +3.86 points
Back Sassuolo to beat Empoli @ 2.0421/20
Over 3.5 Goals in Sampdoria v Inter @ 3.211/5
Lay Napoli against Torino @ 1.855/6