Serie A 2016/17 Matchday Three Preview

The third matchday kicks off with two games on Saturday. It is followed by seven on Sunday and closes with one on Monday

Serie A 2016/17 Matchday Three Preview
Serie A Matchday three preview | Photo: Cammy Anderson/VAVEL

Serie A sides are back in competitive action this weekend after the international break put proceedings on hold for a week. Going into the matchday three clubs are looking to continue perfect records while there are six clubs awaiting their first win, three of whom are yet to even gain a point.

Juventus-Sassuolo - Saturday 17:00GMT

The champions are one of the sides looking to keep their perfect start going when they welcome the Neroverdi to Turin. Juventus saw off Lazio with thanks to a Sami Khedira goal while Sassuolo initially beat Pescara 2-1. The result however was to be overturned as it was found the visitors had fielded an ineligble player and were therefore handed a 0-3 loss. Gregoire Defrel will have the hopes of the Sassuolo faithful on his side as he has to go it alone while Gonzalo Higuain will look to add more to his Bianconeri goals collection. Juventus have the same three who missed out last week missing this week also with the standout being Claudio Marchisio. Sassuolo on the other hand are going to be without talisman Domenico Berardi and new boy Stefano Sensi through injury.

Palermo-Napoli - Saturday 19:45GMT

Palermo will have a cmanagerless dugout when they welcome Napoli to Sicily. Davide de Zerbi was appointed on Tuesday but has a suspension to fulfil. Palermo picked up an unlikely draw with Inter last match while Napoli blew Milan away 4-2. Palermo are not fancied to pick anything up from this tie but if Josip Posevac can play out of his skin in goals they could maybe snatch a draw. Dries Mertens has been in inspired form but whether he'll start is another question. Arguably the leagues best super sub, if Napoli are struggling against the Rosanero he can provide the spark needed. Palermo's Robin Quaison will miss the game, giving the hosts an even bigger challenge while Napoli are missing two central defenders in Lorenzo Tonelli and Vlad Chiriches, neither of whom start anyway.

Mertens scored twice from the bench on matchday one | Photo: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images
Mertens scored twice from the bench on matchday one | Photo: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images

Bologna-Cagliari - Sunday 11:30GMT

Bologna return home off the back of a hammering from Torino and will be eager to put things right again. Cagliari on the other hand arrive having picked up a superb draw with Roma and will look to go one better this week. Mattia Destro will be the key player for Bologna and Marco Borriello, who has scored in each of his two appearances, will be expected to carry that form on for the promoted Sardinians. The hosts have no less than five absentees, including their first two goalkeepers. Cagliari on the other hand will miss captain Daniele Dessena through suspension while Joao Pedro and Luca Ceppitelli are doubtful. 

Chievo Verona-Lazio - Sunday 14:00GMT

Chievo Verona picked up a big win over Inter the last time they played at home and they will prove stern competition for Lazio, who lost to champions Juventus last week. Valter Birsa is the standout player for Chievo and will be the ones pulling the strings again. Ciro Immobile will be the one relied on by the Aquile to deliver the goods in the hope they can return to the capital with three points.  Antonio Floro Flores is doubtful for the hosts while Lazio have a full squad available to them.

Immobile comes into the game having scored for Italy midweek | Photo: Claudio Villa/Getty Images
Immobile comes into the game having scored for Italy midweek | Photo: Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Genoa-Fiorentina - Sunday 14:00GMT

Genoa breezed past minnows Crotone and are one of the other sides to have a perfect record. Meanwhile, Fiorentina snuck by Chievo Verona with a narrow 1-0 win. It'll be a battle between two of the leagues finest strikers in this one, GenoaLeonardo Pavoletti has started the season much how he finished last while Nikola Kalinic isnt far from doing the same. Ivan Juric has a full squad available to him for the tie. Matias Vecino will play no part for La Viola while Borja Valero is in line to return from injury. 

Atalanta-Torino - Sunday 14:00GMT

Atalanta have perhaps been one of the unluckiest sides so far at this early stage. They've looked good and the performances they put in would win the majority of games but they're yet to win. Torino on the other hand come in on cloud nine having put five past Bologna. 19-year-old Franck Kessie has been an inspired signing for the hosts and has scored three from central midfield while it isn't clear who will be key for the travelling Granata. Atalanta will have three absentees for the fixture, Carlos Carmona will miss out through suspension while Rafa Toloi and Emanuele Suagher are both injured. Andrea Belotti picked up an injury on international duty and will leave Torino's firepower hugely decreased. Adem Ljajic and Danilo Avelar's names will also be missing from Sinisa Mihajlovic's team.

Joe Hart will debut this weekend | MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images
Joe Hart will debut this weekend | MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images

Milan-Udinese - Sunday 14:00GMT

Milan's performance last time out was a shadow of the performance from matchday one and they will likely get back to winning ways here. Udinese on the other hand come in having beaten Empoli in the week before the international break. Carlos Bacca is the obvious choice to star for the rossoneri and it'll be Duvan Zapata expected to do the same for Udinese.  Milan have two suspensions for the game in M'Baye Niang and Juraj Kucka and on top of that have four sidelined through injury including new boy Mati Fernandez. Thomas Heurtaux's name heads the list of three absentees for the visiting Zebrette and his exclusion is a big blow to Udinese. 

Roma-Sampdoria - Sunday 14:00GMT

The Giallorossi as aforementioned, drew with Cagliari in their last fixture while Sampdoria complete the trio of clubs with perfect records. Diego Perotti has been the surprise star for the capital club this season and will look to get a goal in his third straight game. Sampdoria have Luis Muriel to call upon and the Colombian is showing some signs of what was expected of him years ago. Antonio Rudiger, Mario Rui and Daniele De Rossi are all out injured for the party throwers and Andrea Tozzo is the only one missing for La Samp.

Perotti celebrates against Cagliari | Photo: Enrico Locci/Getty Images
Perotti celebrates against Cagliari | Photo: Enrico Locci/Getty Images

Pescara-Inter - Sunday 19:45GMT

It'll be the case of third time lucky for Inter as they search for their first victory of the season against promoted Pescara. New signing Joao Mario is expected to debut and all eyes will be on him to deliver.  Gianluca Caprari will be eager to show his parent club whats to come but there is the chance he may keep a low profile to avoid any bad blood when he returns in the Summer. Pescara have two doubts in Andrea Coda and Michele Fornasier whose situations are being monitored closely. Inter are without three full back's for the game as Cristian Ansaldi, Yuto Nagatomo and Marco Andreolli are all sidlelined. 

Empoli-Crotone - Monday 19:45GMT

Matchday three comes to a close on Monday night as two clubs both searching for their first points lock horns. A scrappy fixture is to be expected between the Azzurri and Squali. Alberto Gilardino is yet to get off the mark for Empoli but will surely feel confident of putting one past Serie A's newest club. Crotone's veteran forward Raffaele Palladino scored the clubs historic first goal in the top flight last week and as always will be key for them. Manuel Pasqual and Andrea Costa are uncertain to feature for Empoli. Luca Bruno and Andrea Mazzarini are in a similar position for Crotone.

Crotone celebrate their first in the top flight | Photo:  Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images
Crotone celebrate their first in the top flight | Photo: Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images