Luciano Spalletti is on the verge of masterminding Napoli’s best-ever start to a season
Luciano Spalletti is on the verge of masterminding Napoli’s best-ever start to a season

Napoli could set a new club record if they continue their 100% start against Roma. 

There is also a tasty-looking encounter at the San Siro, with Juventus in town to take on Inter Milan, while AC Milan will be looking to preserve their unbeaten start away to Bologna.

All this and more is covered in our preview of Matchday 9 in Serie A.

Game of the week: Roma vs Napoli (Sunday, 5pm)

Napoli will be looking to make club history by winning their first nine games of a Serie A season — against one of the only two other clubs to have achieved the feat.

Roma’s start to the season under new boss Jose Mourinho has not been perfect — notably suffering a embarrassing 6-1 defeat at Bodo/Glimt on Thursday — but they do sit fourth in the league after winning five of their first eight matches.

The visitors are also on a run of eight straight victories on the road in Serie A — a 2-1 defeat at Juventus in April was their only defeat in 24 fixtures.

Tammy Abraham has settled into life at Roma nicely following his move from Chelsea — only three strikers in the division have played more minutes in 2021-22 than the England international (688).

Tammy Abraham has made a solid start to life in the Italian capital and will be looking to add to his goal tally against Napoli
Tammy Abraham has made a solid start to life in the Italian capital and will be looking to add to his goal tally against Napoli

Read on as we run the rule over the other big games to keep an eye on. 

Inter Milan vs Juventus (Sunday, 7.45pm)

After failing to win any of their first four games, Juventus are gathering momentum under Max Allegri and could make it five wins on the spin when they travel to the defending champions.

Juve have won their last four games by a single goal — 3-2 against Spezia and Sampdoria, then 1-0 against Torino and Roma.

With 23 goals, Inter are the division’s top scorers but the Nerazzurri did lose 3-1 at Lazio last time out. It was their first defeat of the campaign and only their fourth since the beginning of last season.

The hosts have not beaten Juventus in consecutive meetings since 2010, although they have not lost at home in Serie A since a 2-1 defeat to Milan — who they share the San Siro with — 12 months ago.

Juventus have kept clean sheets in their last two Serie A outings
Juventus have kept clean sheets in their last two Serie A outings

Bologna vs AC Milan (Saturday, 7.45pm)

Inconsistent Bologna face a tough test as they welcome unbeaten Milan to the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara in the Saturday night kick-off.

Sinisa Mihajlovic’s team are on a curious run of 12 games in which they have not recorded the same result twice in succession — the Rossoblu have won three, drawn five and lost four of those matches.

Milan have won seven out of eight games so far, including their last four, scoring 18 goals and conceding only seven. 

Four of those goals have come in their last two outings, 3-2 victories over Atalanta and Verona.

The hosts have accumulated a remarkable 47% of their expected goals from free-kicks and corners, in sharp contrast to just 18% of Milan’s xG being from set-pieces.

Hellas Verona vs Lazio (Sunday, 2pm)

Fifth-placed Lazio have yet to keep a clean sheet so far this season — the Biancocelesti have not failed to do so in their opening nine Serie A games since 1954-55.

Maurizio Sarri’s side have looked sharp at the other end of the pitch, scoring 18 goals en route to winning four and drawing two of their first eight matches.

But only four of those goals have come on the road, including three in an opening-day victory at Empoli.

The hosts are on an impressive scoring run themselves, finding the net at least twice in each of their last five games and in six out of eight matches overall.

Unfortunately for the Gialloblu, they have also conceded twice or more on six occasions, giving them a goal difference of zero.

Ciro Immobile — Serie A's top scorer on three occasions — has bagged seven goals in six games against Verona for Lazio.

Goal machine Ciro Immobile has consistently been a thorn in the side of Hellas Verona
Goal machine Ciro Immobile has consistently been a thorn in the side of Hellas Verona

This weekend’s other games

Torino vs Genoa (Friday, 5.30pm) 
Sampdoria vs Spezia (Friday, 7.45pm) 
Salernitana vs Empoli (Saturday, 2pm) 
Sassuolo vs Venezia (Saturday, 5pm) 
Atalanta vs Udinese (Sunday, 11.30am)
Fiorentina v Cagliari (Sunday, 2pm)

Tags

Serie ASSC NapoliRomaJuventusInterBolognaAC MilanHellas VeronaLazioFiorentinaCagliari

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