Serie A Matchday 8: Leaders Napoli bid to match best-ever start

Tom Hancock
LiveScore
15/10/202108:30
Piotr Zielinski's goal and two assists this season have helped Napoli reach Serie A's summit
Piotr Zielinski's goal and two assists this season have helped Napoli reach Serie A's summit

Napoli could extend their lead at the top of Serie A as they put their perfect record on the line against Torino on Sunday evening.

Elsewhere on Matchday 8, two previous scudetto-winning managers meet, as Massimiliano Allegri’s Juventus host Jose Mourinho’s Roma, while Cagliari continue their quest for a first win of the season.

Spezia vs Salernitana (Saturday, 2pm)

The Stadio Alberto Picco is the scene for a battle between two struggling sides with just one league win apiece this term.

Spezia have lost three games on the spin, with the latest of those defeats coming in a 4-0 thrashing away to Hellas Verona, while newly-promoted Salernitana recorded their first victory back in Serie A last time out, beating Genoa 1-0 at home.

That was also the Granata’s first clean sheet of 2021-22. Spezia have yet to keep one, shipping a league-high 19 goals so far — 12 of which have come in the second half, the joint-highest figure in the league along with Salernitana, who have only conceded three first-half goals.

This is the first-ever Serie A clash between these teams, although they have faced off 18 times in Serie B, with Spezia winning half of those meetings and Salernitana seven.

Lazio vs Inter Milan (Saturday, 5pm)

Lazio will be looking to avoid consecutive Serie A defeats for the first time since March as they host Simone Inzaghi’s unbeaten Inter.

Maurizio Sarri’s side lost 3-0 at Bologna in their final game before the international break, while last season’s champions kept their strong start going with a 2-1 win at Sassuolo.

The Biancocelesti, however, have not suffered a home league defeat since December 2020 — a run of 16 matches.

That being said, Inter have won six of their last 10 Serie A away games — with their only loss coming against Juventus on the penultimate weekend of 2020-21, by which time they had already secured the title.

This game pits the division’s two leading scorers against one another — Lazio’s Ciro Immobile and Inter’s Edin Dzeko, both previous Capocannoniere winners, have each netted six times so far.

Serie A's two most potent forwards, Ciro Immobile and Edin Dzeko, will face off at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday
Serie A's two most potent forwards, Ciro Immobile and Edin Dzeko, will face off at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday

Cagliari vs Sampdoria (Sunday, 11.30am)

Rock-bottom Cagliari are still hunting for their first win of the season, as they prepare to take on a Sampdoria side who have won four of their six points so far on the road.

The only team yet to put three points on the board this term, the hosts have gone 10 games without a victory in Serie A and have not won at home since beating Roma 3-2 back in April.

The visitors, though, have not enjoyed a great start to the season themselves, winning only one of their opening seven games — a 3-0 triumph away to Empoli on Matchday 4.

Do not expect this encounter to have a thrilling finale  — Cagliari are the only team in the division yet to score in the final 15 minutes of a game this season, while Sampdoria have conceded a league-low one goal in the last 30 minutes.

Joao Pedro has scored half of bottom side Cagliari's eight goals in 2021-22
Joao Pedro has scored half of bottom side Cagliari's eight goals in 2021-22

Napoli vs Torino (Sunday, 5pm)

Leaders Napoli have come tearing out of the traps in 2021-22 — Luciano Spalletti’s men are the last team in Europe’s top five leagues with a 100% record, and an eighth win from eight would equal their best-ever Serie A start.

If the challenge was not already daunting enough for Torino, they may wish to avoid looking at their recent record against the Partenopei — they have not beaten them in their last 12 meetings.

Napoli have looked imperious at both ends of the pitch this season, conceding just three goals and scoring more (18) than anyone bar Inter.

Torino, however, have faced only 18 shots on target — the fewest in the division — and could prove a tough nut to crack, as they look to get back on track after losing the Turin derby to Juventus late on last time out.

No goalkeeper in Serie A has faced fewer shots than Torino's Vanja Milinkovic-Savic this season
No goalkeeper in Serie A has faced fewer shots than Torino's Vanja Milinkovic-Savic this season

Juventus vs Roma (Sunday, 7.45pm)

After failing to win any of their first four league games this season, Juventus can make it four Serie A victories in succession by beating Roma at the Allianz Stadium.

The visitors could move to within three points of top spot with a win and the right results elsewhere — Mourinho’s side have lost each of their last two away matches, though, 3-2 against both Verona and bitter rivals Lazio.

Juve have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their opening three home league fixtures, however — only once in their last 36 top-flight seasons have the Bianconeri conceded in each of their first four games in Turin.

Roma have not lost consecutive Serie A clashes with Juventus since 2016, although they have won only one of their last five meetings in all competitions.

The weekend's other games

AC Milan vs Hellas Verona (Saturday, 7.45pm)

Udinese vs Bologna (Sunday, 2pm

Genoa vs Sassuolo (Sunday, 2pm

Empoli vs Atalanta (Sunday, 2pm)

Venezia vs Fiorentina (Monday, 7.45pm)

Tags

Serie ASSC NapoliTorinoSpeziaSalernitanaLazioInterCagliariSampdoriaJuventusRoma

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