Serie A Matchday 7: Unbeaten Napoli go in search of seventh heaven
Serie A continues with early pacesetters Napoli looking to maintain their perfect start to the season as they head to Fiorentina on Sunday.
Before that, there is a Saturday evening double-header as Torino face Juventus in the Turin derby and reigning champions Inter travel to Sassuolo.
Torino vs Juventus (Saturday, 5pm)
The first Derby della Mole of 2021-22 takes place with Torino sitting above their great rivals in the table, albeit only on goal difference.
Both sides have won two, drawn two and lost two of their opening six games, with Juventus starting to recover from their worst start for 60 years.
Juve have only lost one of their last 30 Serie A meetings with Torino — although that 2-1 defeat in April 2015 did come under Massimiliano Allegri, who is back at the club for his second spell in charge.
The visitors’ route to goal could be a tricky one though — no team has faced fewer shots than Torino so far this term (47).
Sassuolo vs Inter Milan (Saturday, 7.45pm)
Saturday’s late kick-off sees a battle between two of the league’s best defences so far — just four teams have conceded fewer goals than Sassuolo or last season’s champions Inter (seven).
However, only 18th-placed Venezia and bottom-of-the-table Salernitana have scored fewer goals than Sassuolo (six).
Unbeaten Inter, on the other hand, have looked formidable in attack. They have found the back of the net 20 times in their opening six matches — scoring at least twice in each fixture and three or more times on four occasions.
A win for either side would tip the head-to-head record in the victor’s favour — in their 16 previous Serie A meetings, there have been seven wins apiece and two draws.
Fiorentina vs Napoli (Sunday, 5pm)
Napoli will equal their best-ever start to a Serie A campaign if they make it seven wins from seven at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.
Luciano Spalletti’s side are one of only two teams in Europe’s top five leagues yet to drop a point this season, along with Paris Saint-Germain.
Fiorentina’s recent record against the Partenopei does not make for encouraging reading — they have lost four of the last six encounters and also failed to score in four of them.
That said, victory for the Viola will make this the club’s best start to a top-flight season since 2015-16 — they have picked up 12 points from their opening six games and sit fifth in the table.
Roma vs Empoli (Sunday, 5pm)
Jose Mourinho’s Roma will be determined to bounce back from their derby defeat to Lazio last time out but they face a tough challenge in the form of Empoli, who have settled back into Serie A life nicely following promotion.
Roma’s first six matches have yielded four victories and the Giallorossi have won seven out of nine games in all competitions, although they have lost two of their last three.
Empoli, who won the 2020-21 Serie B title, head to the Stadio Olimpico on the back of two straight wins — Gli Azzurri’s 4-2 triumph over Bologna last weekend was their second by that scoreline in all competitions this season.
Aurelio Andreazzoli’s men could lean on striker Andrea Pinamonti — on loan from Inter — who seems to enjoy playing against Roma, averaging a goal every 94 minutes against them in Serie A.
Atalanta vs AC Milan (Sunday, 7.45pm)
AC Milan will put their 11-match Serie A unbeaten run on the line when they round off Matchday 7 away to Atalanta, who held Inter to a draw last time out.
The Rossoneri can take confidence from their last trip to the Gewiss Stadium when their 2-0 win on the final day of last season made them one of only two Serie A teams to win there since January.
Six of the last 12 encounters between these sides have ended all square — in fact, Atalanta have drawn more games against Milan than any other Serie A opponent (43).
Set-pieces could be worth keeping an eye on in this one. La Dea are one of only four teams yet to score from a dead-ball situation in Serie A this season, with Stefano Pioli’s visitors one of just two teams yet to concede in such circumstances.
The weekend's other games
Cagliari vs Venezia (Friday, 7.45pm)
Salernitana vs Genoa (Saturday, 2pm)
Bologna vs Lazio (Sunday, 11.30am)
Sampdoria vs Udinese (Sunday, 2pm)
Hellas Verona vs Spezia (Sunday, 2pm)