The best bets from a tasty looking weekend in Serie A.
Roma v Udinese – Saturday 15:00
Roma lost out to Inter in their opening home game but reverted to type by beating Verona 3-0 next time at the Stadio Olimpico. Inter are of course flying high near the top of the table and look much more impressive under Spalletti, and it is worth noting that the only home games in which Roma dropped points last term came against top-five opposition. Udinese lost 11 of 19 away matches last season and have started the current campaign with two defeats, meaning they’ve now lost each of their last six on the road whilst conceding an average of three goals per game. Roma are of course no strangers to finding the net, and in fact excluding top-seven sides they’ve now managed to score at least three in 12 of 14 home matches since the start of last season. They covered the -1 handicap in 10 of these, and should continue that trend here.
Sassuolo v Bologna – Sunday 17:00
Sassuolo were better on the road than at home last season and whilst there’s no shame in the defeat they suffered to Juve in their latest home game, they could only manage a draw hosting a very poor Genoa side prior to that. They did perform far better here against bottom-half sides last term, including big wins over Cagliari, Palermo and Empoli, however, new boss Cristian Bucchi is more cautious than his predecessor and having seen some important attackers depart in the summer the result has been just two goals in the ‘For’ column in their opening four games. Bologna also have a habit of making themselves tough to beat, as excluding results against the top five, they’ve drawn the first half in 12 of their last 16 road trips, with the game goalless at the break in 11 of these. Once again, the 0-0 half-time score is our standout selection.
Fiorentina v Atalanta – Sunday 19:45, BT Sport 1
Atalanta outperformed expectations last season as they finished way up in 4th having only finished in the top half once in the previous 10 years, but following the departure of key players over the summer they were never expected to repeat the trick this term. Their away record against the top half was only W1-D4-L4 and they’ve already lost at Napoli this season whilst they could only manage a draw at Chievo, and given Fiorentina are W11-D8-L2 at home since the start of last season we think the hosts should come away with the three points. The Viola have scored 13 over their last five at home, including eight goals against Inter and Lazio at the back-end of last season, and are unbeaten in their last 11 clashes with Atalanta (W9-D2-L0).