The 116th season of Italian Serie A competition kicks off on Saturday but one thinks that the best bet on the card is in Sunday’s game between Internazionale and Fiorentina.
Internazionale has not attracted the same summer headlines as its San Siro cohabitant, Milan, but that is not to say that the Black and Blues have not done some smart business during the break, the best bit of which was acquiring the services of former Roma boss Luciano Spalletti, who has twice been voted Italian Serie A’s coach of the year.
Fiorentina has a new manager as well and it is Stefano Pioli, whom Internazionale sacked six months into his 18-month deal in May. Inter had won 12 of its first 16 Italian Serie A matches under Pioli but two draws and five losses followed and that run resulted in him losing his job.
Last term’s Italian Serie A games between Internazionale and Fiorentina were high-scoring, crazy affairs in which the Black and Blues won 4-2 in Milan and the Purples prevailed 5-4 in Florence. Mauro Icardi scored two goals in Inter’s Italian Serie A home match versus Fiorentina and he bagged a hat-trick in his side’s divisional away game against the Purples. Icardi is set to lead Inter’s attack on Sunday, whereas Fiorentina has lost some key players during the close season, including Federico Bernardeschi to Italian Serie A champion Juventus and Borja Valero to its weekend opponent. Valero is a probable midfield starter for Inter.
Bet365, Betfred and BoyleSports are some of the boommakers which are offering fair odds of -175 about Internazionale carrying over its fine warm-up form into the real business of Italian Serie A action. Inter has beaten the likes of Bayern Munchen, Chelsea and Villarreal leading into its Italian Serie A opener against an inferior opponent.
Many good judges are tipping Napoli to push Juventus all the way in the Italian Serie A title race and one thinks that the free-scoring Partenopei will collect three points from its first league assignment away to Verona on Saturday.
Of the Italian Serie A heavyweights, Napoli has undergone the fewest changes between terms and the Partenopei showed that they are in fine fettle when posting a 2-0 home win over Nice in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.
Napoli and Verona did not cross paths last season because they were in different divisions but, during the previous campaign, they met three times – twice in Italian Serie A and one in the Italian Coppa Italia. And in the type of head-to-head record of which punters dream, Napoli beat Verona 3-0 (home), 3-0 (home) and 2-0 (away).
Like Verona, Benevento gained promotion to Italian Serie A last term but the Wizards are weaving their magic for the first time in Italy’s top flight. Whereas Benevento lost its Italian Coppa Italia tie 0-4 at home to Perugia last week, Sampdoria defeated Foggia 3-0 on its own pitch. Marathonbet is listing Sampdoria at odds of -143 to condemn Benevento to defeat on the latter’s Italian Serie A debut and that is an perfectly acceptable wager to strike in the circumstances.
Inter Milan to beat Fiorentina
Sunday 20th August, 19:45 GMT
Napoli to beat Verona
Saturday 19th August, 19:45 GMT
Sampdoria to beat Benevento
Sunday 20th August, 19:45 GMT