Parma vs Napoli
Stadio Ennio Tardini, Parma
Sunday, 20-09-2020 @1:30pm
These two teams have changed a great deal over the summer, as Napoli adapted to suit Victor Osimhen, while Parma transformed under new coach Fabio Liverani.
The Partenopei are expected to start Osimhen in their new 4-2-3-1 formation, although a return to 4-3-3 is also possible with Dries Mertens on the bench. Kalidou Koulibaly remains for the moment, but his future is unclear, while Arkadiusz Milik has been frozen out.
Liverani has a completely different tactical approach to predecessor Roberto D’Aversa and that could take a while to really sink in for a team accustomed to counter-attacking. Jasmin Kurtic is suspended, while Gervinho has been ruled out by an injury.
Parma have won only one of their last 18 Serie A season openers, 2-0 against Brescia in 2010, along with 13 draws and four defeats.
Genoa vs Crotone
Comunale Luigi Ferraris, Genoa
Sunday, 20-09-2020 @4pm
Crotone are back in Serie A and will look to hitman Nwankwo Simy for guidance against Rolando Maran’s Genoa.
The Grifone just about avoided relegation on the final day for the second year running and will be desperate to start strong against what will probably be one of the candidates to go down next summer. Francesco Cassata and Andrea Masiello sit out bans, but new coach Maran has a relatively unchanged XI from last term.
As for Crotone, they were promoted by finishing second behind Benevento and have been very active on the transfer market this summer, bringing in total Serie A newcomers like Lisandro Magallan from Ajax, Sporting midfielder Eduardo Henrique and Red Star defender Milos Vulic.
Nigerian striker Simy was Capocannoniere of Serie B last season with 20 goals and he’ll be the one everyone else looks to.
Crotone’s first ever Serie A goal was against Genoa, scored by Raffaele Palladino in August 2016.
Sassuolo vs Cagliari
MAPEI Stadium, Reggio Nell’Emilia
Sunday, 20-09-2020 @7pm
Sassuolo are missing several key players for this season opener against Eusebio Di Francesco’s Cagliari, but the Sardinians are in even worse shape.
Both teams have struggled throughout pre-season with injuries and above all COVID-19 infections, which continue to limit their options. Jeremie Boga, Luca Ceppitelli, Alberto Cerri, Kiril Despodov and Filip Bradaric are all still isolating or recovering.
As for the hosts, Federico Peluso is suspended, with Domenico Berardi and Francesco Magnanelli in serious doubt against their former coach.
Cagliari have lost their last four Serie A season openers and haven’t even scored in the most recent three.
Juventus vs Sampdoria
Allianz Stadium, Torino
Sunday, 20-09-2020 @9:30pm
Andrea Pirlo makes his coaching debut against the most experienced tactician in Serie A, as Juventus begin their title defence against Sampdoria.
The former midfielder was thrown straight in at the deep end with a team that has won nine consecutive league titles in an extraordinary show of faith. He’ll begin his management career against Claudio Ranieri, a man with 423 Serie A matches under his belt and 952 in various leagues.
With the striker situation dragging on and Paulo Dybala injured, it falls to Cristiano Ronaldo to become the centre-forward alongside new buy Dejan Kulusevski.
Arthur should get his Serie A debut in midfield of a new 3-5-2 formation.
Samp miss Manolo Gabbiadini, so Federico Bonazzoli is expected to partner golden oldie Fabio Quagliarella. The Blucerchiati and their solid 4-4-2 will try to stifle a Juve side still getting to grips with so many changes.
Juventus have won 57 out of 87 Serie A season openers, losing only seven, the most recent 1-0 against Udinese in August 2015.
The other upcoming Serie A fixtures
-AC Milan vs Bologna @9:45pm
-Bonavento vs Inter Milan @7pm
-Udinese vs Spezia @7pm
-Lazio vs Atalanta @9:45pm
Results on Saturday, 19-09-2020
-Fiorentina 1-0 Torino
-Hellas Verona 0-0 AS Roma