Serie A 2016/17 Match Day Two Preview

The second week in Italy's top flight is around the corner and will be the last before an international break

Serie A 2016/17 Match Day Two Preview
Serie A preview | Photo: Cammy Anderson/VAVEL

The first week in Serie A threw up some surprises and the same formality everyone has come to expect - a Juventus win. Elsewhere Inter lost to Chievo Verona in Frank De Boer's first match in charge while promoted Pescara were on the verge of making one of the shocks of the season as they lead Napoli 2-0 before Dries Mertens scored two in as many minutes to deny the delfini three points. 

Lazio-Juventus - Saturday 17:00GMT

The first match of the second match day pits the capital club against the reigning champions. Both sides picked up victories last weekend, Lazio played out a thriller with Atalanta while Juventus overcame Fiorentina 2-1, with Serie A record signing Gonzalo Higuain coming off the bench to score the decisive goal. Ciro Immobile opened his account last weekend and will be looking to add more despite facing Italy's best. As aforementioned, Higuain also got his first goal in a Juve shirt and has a better chance than Immobile to add to his tally for the season. Just like last week Senad Lulic and Stefan Radu will both miss out for the hosts while Keita Balde is unlikely to play either as the stand-off between himself and the aquile continues.  The same three who missed out for Juventus last weekend will also miss out this week with the most notable being Claudio Marchisio.

Napoli-Milan - Saturday 19:45GMT

After avoiding embarassment, with no disrespect to Pescara who showed they will be no pushovers this term, Napoli will be out for their first victory over Milan who come into the came having won last weekend. Mertens is sure to start after his double but this is a player who excels coming off of the bench and may be called upon later in the game to inspire the partenopei to victory. Carlos Bacca registered the league's first hat-trick last week as Milan saw off Torino and will, like most weeks, be the key player for the rossoneri. Napoli duo Emmanuele Giaccherini and Lorenzo Tonelli will miss out through injury. Milan will be without two themselves, Andrea Bertolacci is injured while Gabriel Paletta is suspended.

Bacca scored his third from the spot | Photo: Marco Luzzani/Getty Images
Bacca scored his third from the spot | Photo: Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Inter-Palermo - Sunday 17:00GMT

This game, albeit only the second, is already a must win game for the hosting Nerazzurri. Inter tasted defeat to Chievo largely down to the peculiar strategy new boss Frank De Boer set out with which proved costly, Palermo on the other hand lost narrowly to Sassuolo 1-0. Mauro Icardi failed to get on the scoresheet last week and the 2014/15 capocannoniere will look to be in amongst the goals when Palermo come to Milan. Palermo's Robin Quaison has the hopes of Sicily resting on his shoulders and will have to carry the side much like Franco Vazquez did last term and this game won't be any different. Jeison Murillo will return to the hosts side who are more likely than not going to revert to four at the back opposed to the three that faced Chievo. Palermo will have to do without centre half Slobodan Rajkovic who is suspended and his abscence from the defence is only going to make things even harder than they already will be.

Crotone-Genoa - Sunday 19:45GMT

Genoa had no problems seeing off promoted Cagliari last week and have the pleasure of facing another promoted side in Crotone in what should prove another easy game for Ivan Juric's men. Diego Laxalt was one who shone last week and he will be afforded the opportunity to do so this term but Leonardo Pavoletti has to be watched too. The experienced heads of Crotone namely Raffaele Palldino and Claiton will be called upon to try salvage anything they can from the game. The former will be looking to try score the goals while Claiton will be doing the opposite as he captains a three man defence. Genoa have nobody missing for this fixture nor do Crotone. 

Palladino fights to get free from the Bologna defender | Photo: Mario Carlini / Iguana Press/Getty Images
Palladino fights to get free from the Bologna defender | Photo: Mario Carlini / Iguana Press/Getty Images

Torino-Bologna - Sunday 19:45GMT

The hosts come into this game having narrowly missed out on drawing with Milan after Andrea Belotti saw his injury time penalty save by Gigi Donnarumma meanwhile Bologna beat newcomers Crotone 1-0 with thanks to a Mattia Destro goal. Former Palermo striker Belotti is the obvious key player for the granata coming into this fixture while Adem Ljajic will also play an important role. Destro, fresh from his goal last week will be on the prowl for more as Bologna look to get as far away from the relegation zone as possible early on. Danilo Avelar and Iago Falque will play no part for the hosts while Alex Ferrari, Godfred Donsah and Sergio Floccari won't be in the rossoblu side.

Udinese-Empoli - Sunday 19:45GMT

The hosts were on the receiving end of a 4-0 thrashing from Roma while Empoli were narrowly defeated by Sampdoria as they started the season, a shadow of the side that finished the last season.  Duvan Zapata failed to get on the scoresheet last week and will be eager to do so this week so should be watched closely by the azzurri. Alberto Gilardino will be key for the visitors as he looks to cement his place in the starting line up having had to settle for a place on the bench last week. Udinese will have no less than five absentees this weekend, star defender Thomas Heurtaux is one as he recovers from fracturing bones in his face last week and Cyril Thereau is another, who is serving suspension. Veteran goalscorer Massimo Maccarone was sent off last week for Empoli so will therefore play no part.

Heurtaux sustained his injury clashing heads with Strootman | photo: messageroveneto.it
Heurtaux sustained his injury clashing heads with Strootman | photo: messageroveneto.it

Cagliari-Roma - Sunday 19:45GMT

It doesn't get any easier for Cagliari this weekend and if anything it's only got a whole load harder when Roma come to Sardinia. Cagliari were comfortably beaten by Genoa while Roma blew Udinese away more than convincingly. Marco Borriello got his name on the scoresheet in the home sides loss last week and is the largest threat to Roma, his former employers. Meanwhile, Roma's attackers all starred last week with Diego Perotti perhaps the best of the lot, scoring two off the bench. Daniele Dessena and Joao Pedro are both injured and won't be fit to face the giallorossi while Roma will continue to be without long term injured Antonio Rudiger and Mario Rui for the match.

Sampdoria-Atalanta - Sunday 19:45GMT

Sampdoria got off to winning ways while Atalanta played out a 4-3 thriller with Lazio but were on the losing side at the end of the day. Luis Muriel scored a wonder goal last week and will be key to Sampdoria's sucess again this match day. Franck Kessie got a surprising double last week but is unlikely to have as big an impact this time round where Alberto Paloschi or Alejandro Gomez is likely to be the key. Atalanta's man to watch New boy Dennis Praet is in line for his Samp debut following a move from Anderlecht in the middle of the week and the side have no absentees for the game. Atalanta on the other hand will be without Emanuele Suagher and influential Mauricio Pinilla for their visit to the Stadio Luigi Ferraris

Praet is a fine talent | Photo: sampdoria.it
Praet is a fine talent | Photo: sampdoria.it

Sassuolo-Pescara - Sunday 19:45GMT

Sassuolo have had a busy week having played no less than three times, winning two of the three (and drawing the other) and qualifyied for the Europa League in the process. Pescara almost shocked Napoli last week and could take advantage of the fact Sassuolo have had a jam-packed schedule and fitness might not be at it's peak across the side. Domenico Berardi, as always will be the one to watch from the neroverdi while Valerio Verre, who scored last weekend has to be watched in the delfini side. Simone Missiroli and Lorenzo Pellegrini are both out injured for the hosts and Pescara have a real dilemma at the back with their three starting centre backs all in the treatment room as well as forward Francesco Nicastro.

Fiorentina-Chievo - Sunday 19:45GMT

Fiorentina put in a valiant performance against Juventus and will look to carry that in to this game but it won't be easy as they face a Chievo side coming into the game against a Chievo side who picked up a good win over Inter. If Nikola Kalinic is to still be with La Viola come the weekend as rumours linking him with a move away persist, he will be the main suspect to score and lead the side to victory. Valter Birsa was at the double last week and had a solid performance away from the goals and is the most in form player from either side. Borja Valero could return from injury that ruled him out last week and asides from that neither side has any injury worries or suspensions.

Birsa celebrates one of his two against Inter | Photo: siol.net
Birsa celebrates one of his two against Inter | Photo: siol.net