Hellas Verona vs Atalanta
Stadio Marc Antonio Bentegodi, Verona
Saturday, 18-07-2020 @6:15pm
Ref: Rosario Abisso
Verona coach Ivan Juric takes on his mentor, Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini, in what ought to be an entertaining clash between two similar teams.
Juric was with Gasperini for years as both a player at Genoa, then his assistant manager, so nobody knows the coach better.
Hellas have also impressed this season for a newly-promoted side and have been furious at recent refereeing decisions, which is also why Juric is sitting out a touchline ban.
Atalanta, meanwhile, keep marching on and demolished Brescia 6-1 with a Mario Pasalic hat-trick.
Luis Muriel is likely to be rested again after needing stitches for a nasty knock to the back of the head, which he suffered when slipping on the edge of a swimming pool. Duvan Zapata and Ruslan Malinovskyi don’t seem to mind, as it’s giving them more regular playing time.
Atalanta won the last three meetings with Verona, scoring 11 goals and conceding two.
Cagliari vs Sassuolo
Serdgena Arena, Cagliari
Saturday, 18-07-2020 @8:30pm
Ref: Giovanni Ayroldi
Sassuolo came so close to beating Juventus midweek and will be fired up against a Cagliari side that is without a win in five, but have three key players suspended.
Roberto De Zerbi is creating a little Atalanta in Reggio Emilia, a team that plays sparkling, attacking football, never gives in and takes the game to the biggest of opponents.
They came back from 2-0 down to lead Juve 3-2, eventually held 3-3 thanks only to Wojciech Szczesny heroics. The Neroverdi had won four on the bounce before that and will be expecting another victory in Sardinia.
There are concerns, though, as Domenico Berardi, Francesco Magnanelli and Medhi Bourabia all sit out bans, with Rogerio, Gregoire Defrel and Pedro Obiang still injured, so options are a little limited.
However, De Zerbi has been rotating the squad more than anyone since the restart, so shouldn’t be too worried.
Cagliari have struggled under Walter Zenga and managed just three points from the last five rounds. They were unceremoniously thumped 3-0 by Sampdoria midweek, as Radja Nainggolan’s injury takes a huge amount away from this squad.
Cagliari have not beaten Sassuolo since a 4-3 thriller in December 2016, followed by three draws and three defeats.
AC Milan vs Bologna
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan
Saturday, 18-07-2020 @10:45pm
Ref: Davide Massa
Milan are on splendid form and have caught Napoli in joint sixth place, partly thanks to Saturday’s opponents Bologna, who held the Partenopei to a 1-1 draw.
The Rossoneri have really found their feet under Stefano Pioli, even though his future has already been sealed with the imminent arrival of Ralf Rangnick.
Lucas Paqueta is probably still out of action with a muscular problem, but Alexis Saelemaekers returns from suspension to support Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Ibra had been in talks to join Bologna in January, largely due to his friendship with coach Sinisa Mihajlovic, so there will be a fond reunion at San Siro.
There’s another veteran doing great work still for Bologna and that’s Rodrigo Palacio, flanked by young talents Musa Barrow and Riccardo Orsolini. Mattia Bani and Jerdy Schouten are still on the treatment table.
Bologna have not beaten Milan since a 1-0 result at San Siro in January 2016, followed by a 0-0 draw in December 2018 and seven losses.
The other upcoming Serie A games
-Parma vs Sampdoria @6:15pm
-Genoa vs Lecce @8:30pm
-Brescia vs SPAL @8:30pm
-Fiorentina vs Torino @8:30pm
-Napoli vs Udinese @8:30pm
-AS Roma vs Inter Milan @10:45pm
-Juventus vs Lazio @10:45pm