Serie A: Roma and Inter Milan looking to bounce back on pivotal weekend
There has been plenty of drama over the past few weeks, and few would have expected Napoli to be occupying the top spot at this stage of the Serie A campaign. There are two tasty games to look forward to this weekend — Roma v Napoli and Inter Milan v Juventus. We will run the rule over both of them and divulge the latest odds.
Roma boss Jose Mourinho distances himself from Newcastle job
Speculation has been swirling around the future of Steve Bruce at Newcastle after the club fell into the ownership of Saudi Arabian businessmen. Jose Mourinho has been mooted as a potential target, but the Portuguese tactician made it clear he has an ’emotional connection’ with the club, but purely because of his relationship with the late Sir Bobby Robson, who was a former Magpies manager.
Mourinho appears content at Roma, and his side has made a solid start to the campaign, picking up 15 points from their eight games, and they are fourth in the table. Although they were outdone by Juventus last weekend, Mourinho has impressed the fans. Roma could have nicked a point against Juventus, Wojciech Szczesny denied Jordan Veretout from the penalty spot.
Roma handed boost over Nicolo Zaniolo in the wake of Juventus defeat
Roma were given a much-needed injury boost over Nicolo Zaniolo. The winger was replaced in the first half of the defeat to Juventus with a knee problem, but a medical exam showed there was no extensive damage. Roma has a busy week with Europa League action on Thursday before they face Napoli on Sunday, so they can’t afford to be short of bodies.
Napoli maintain perfect start to the campaign with victory over Torino
Napoli have come flying out of the traps this season, and they maintained their perfect start with a 1-0 victory over Torino. A Victor Osimhen strike nine minutes from the end proved to be the difference between the two sides, but Napoli are starting to look like the real deal.
Roma v Napoli: A look back at past encounters
Roma v Napoli always provides some fireworks, and it is always a great watch for neutral. But as far as Napoli are concerned, they will relish a trip to Roma where they won 2-0 on their previous visit last season. Dries Mertens weighed in with a double to take the game away from Roma on that day.
Inter Milan licking their wounds after Lazio defeat
Becoming the hunted, as football fans know, is an unenviable position. Inter Milan have set loft standards for themselves, but they fell considerably short when Lazio inflicted their first defeat on the reigning Serie A champions as they ran out 3-1 winners. A Ciro Immobile penalty has taken him to the top of the league’s scoring charts, but Inter will have conducted a thorough inquisition.
With the games coming thick and fast, there is little time to dwell on losses. Nevertheless, Simone Inzaghi will be hoping his charges learn from their defeat to Lazio. Although it is still relatively early in the campaign, Inter are seven points behind Napoli in the table, and another defeat could spell trouble for their title defence.
Meanwhile, after a rocky start to the campaign, Juventus have been on the winning trail, registering five victories on the trot in all competitions. The 1-0 victory over Roma will have been a morale booster. And it was a momentous occasion for Leonardo Bonucci, who became just the third active player in Serie A to clock 250 wins in Italy’s top flight.
Massimiliano Allegri provides key Paulo Dybala injury update
On the surface of things, Juventus have been coping just fine without Paulo Dybala. Since picking up a muscular injury against Sampdoria, the Argentine has been out of action, and Allegri confirmed he is responding well to treatment. When quizzed about Dybala’s potential return to action, Allegri said: “I think he will be available within a week, no more than 10 days.”
Dybala, therefore, appears to be touch and go to face Inter. Meanwhile, Inter could restore Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal into the fold after returning from international duty with Chile last weekend. Inter will be desperate to get back to winning ways, and they will have fond memories of their 2-0 victory over Juventus last season at the San Siro.
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