Torino vs Atalanta
Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino, Torino
Saturday, 26-09-2020 @4pm
Atalanta finally begin their Serie A season, albeit without several key players, as they visit a Torino side looking for their first points.
La Dea were allowed to postpone their Week 1 fixture with Lazio to September 30 because they finished the 2019-20 campaign later, participating in the Champions League quarter-finals.
This is their first competitive match since that heart-breaking 2-1 defeat, having been in front until stoppages.
Josip Ilicic is back in training, but still not ready to play, with Pierluigi Gollini, Matteo Pessina and Aleksei Miranchuk also injured. Berat Djimsiti and new signing Cristian Romero are suspended, so it’s a pick between Luis Muriel and Duvan Zapata upfront.
Toro lost their opening game 1-0 to Fiorentina and showed little of the style Marco Giampaolo is looking for. Ricardo Rodriguez and Daniele Baselli are still out, with Alex Berenguer likely to be confirmed behind Andrea Belotti and Simone Zaza. The Granata haven’t lost their two opening games to a Serie A season since 2002-03.
Atalanta registered their biggest ever Serie A victory with a 7-0 against Torino in January 2020.
Cagliari vs Lazio
Serdgena Arena, Cagliari
Saturday, 26-09-2020 @7pm
Lazio have their first competitive match of the season, as Cagliari hope to have Diego Godin join in time to make his debut.
The Aquile saw their Week 1 fixture with Atalanta postponed to September 30 because their opponents were given extra time due to Champions League commitments.
Simone Inzaghi’s team is practically unchanged, as Vedat Muriqi isn’t ready yet, while Mohamed Fares is likely to be benched in favour of Adam Marusic.
Cagliari, on the other hand, have brought in numerous new faces and thrown many of them in at the deep end during the opening 1-1 draw with Sassuolo. Godin is expected to arrive from Inter in the days before the game, but it might be too early to start him on Saturday.
Cagliari have not gone unbeaten in the opening two Serie A rounds since the 2011-12 season. The last time they drew both was 1981-82.
Sampdoria vs Bonevento
Comunale Luigi Ferraris, Genoa
Saturday, 26-09-2020 @7pm
Benevento are welcomed back to Serie A following a record-breaking Serie B run and face a Sampdoria side licking their wounds.
The Week 1 fixture for Le Streghe was postponed to September 30 because Inter were given extra time due to their Europa League Final participation, ending the 2019-20 season in late August.
Pippo Inzaghi’s team won the Serie B title with months to spare and over 20 points from second place, but the top flight is a very different game.
They brought in numerous new players, including ex-Sampdoria forward Gianluca Caprari, who may well start with former Genoa striker Gianluca Lapadula.
Roberto Insigne, younger brother of Napoli captain Lorenzo, completes the trident.
Samp were lambasted by coach Claudio Ranieri following the opening day 3-0 defeat to Juventus, as he complained bitterly at how ‘disappointed’ he was by their performance, but above all their attitude and complete lack of fight.
Fabio Quagliarella should return to the starting XI in a more attack-minded formation, but Manolo Gabbiadini is still out of action.
Benevento’s first ever Serie A match was a defeat away to Sampdoria in 2017.
Inter Milan vs Fiorentina
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan
Inter begin their season as potential Scudetto favourites, having strengthened their squad in Antonio Conte’s image, but Fiorentina started with a win.
The Nerazzurri saw their Week 1 fixture with Benevento postponed to September 30, as their 2019-20 season ended so late due to reaching the Europa League Final.
That defeat to Sevilla continues to smart and prompted the club to follow Conte’s vision all the way, with the arrival of Arturo Vidal and Aleksandar Kolarov, along with Achraf Hakimi.
Fiorentina began their season with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Torino, decided by Gaetano Castrovilli. Sofyan Amrabat was suspended for that game and therefore makes his debut in the Viola jersey. He could soon be joined in midfield by ex-Inter man Borja Valero, who returned to his beloved Florence this summer, and former Milan star Giacomo Bonaventura.
Fiorentina, Juventus and Roma are the only teams Inter failed to beat in Serie A last season.
The other upcoming Serie A fixtures
-Spezia vs Sassuolo @1:30pm
-Napoli vs Genoa @4pm
-Hellas Verona vs Udinese @4pm
-Crotone vs AC Milan @7pm
-AS Roma vs Juventus @9:45pm
-Bologna vs Parma @9:45pm