Serie A Matchday Four Preview: The Inter – Milan Derby Battle

The international break halted the 2020-21 Serie A campaign but the competition resumes this weekend with some exciting fixtures on display in matchday four.

The Milan derby will surely take the headlines, while Atalanta’s trip to Napoli should make calcio fans giddy. But this is not it, a potential six-point affair is also on the cards as Verona welcome Genoa.

There is an off-field drama on offer. Napoli did not travel to Turin citing coronavirus protocols, and Lega Serie A gave their decision on the matter. The Old Lady was given a 3-0 victory as the match was adjudged as a forfeit from Napoli. The Partenopei disagree with the ruling and will litigate the matter.

The news from Italian top-flight football is always headline-worthy, and this weekend should live up to its billing. Here are some quick previews in chronological order of what to expect from Serie A Round 4:

Napoli – Atalanta

Gennaro Gattuso’s men dismantled Genoa 6-0 and must have felt confident against Juventus. The match did not take place, and we can only wonder what the result would have been. That is in the past now, and in litigation, so the Partenopei only have Gian Piero Gasperini and his charges on their minds.

Meanwhile, Atalanta have continued to steamroll their opposition. La Dea have outscored their opponents by healthy margins in all their fixtures and will surely take the game to their hosts. On the other hand, Napoli have yet to concede a goal in their two outings and will hope their defense is able to contain their free-scoring rivals. The match has all the ingredients of being a calcio classic, and we expect nothing less.

Atalanta hoping to maintain their Serie A lead with a victory over Napoli in matchday four

Inter – Milan

Antonio Conte has made Inter genuine title contenders. The Nerazzurri hierarchy have supported the manager and Conte now has the squad depth to match his ambitions. To top it all off, Inter are on a four-match winning streak against their crosstown rivals.

However, it will not be easy to beat the Rossoneri, who have improved under Stefano Pioli and been rejuvenated since the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Milan are on an eight-match winning streak in all competitions and are undefeated in 19 games. They have turned their fortunes around and will not be comfortable customers to deal with.

Romelu Lukaku hoping to extend his red hot form when he takes on Milan in Serie A Matchday four

Sampdoria – Lazio

Simone Inzaghi’s Lazio have been underwhelming in the current campaign. The outsiders in the Scudetto race were easily dismantled by Atalanta and were lucky to manage a 1-1 draw against Inter. They need a result to show for and struggling Sampdoria are the perfect victims.

Juventus showed La Samp’s weak defense, and Benevento profited from their lapses in concentration for their first win in Serie A. Claudio Ranieri reigned in his men against Fiorentina as they managed to turn the events in their favor with a 1-2 win. It will be another tough day at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, and they will have to be on their toes to get something out of the fixture.

Crotone – Juventus

Teams always tend to lose after the international break, and Juventus are the unlucky victims this time around. Cristiano Ronaldo tested positive for Covid-19 while on duty with Portugal and will not be available. In addition to Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala, Weston McKennie, Aaron Ramsey, and Federico Bernardeschi are also unavailable for Andrea Pirlo.

However, the fixture gods have been kind to them as they take on relegation candidates Crotone. The Sharks have been toothless in their three outings so far, scoring two and conceding 10 in the process.

Ronaldo’s absence will loom over Juventus as he misses the Crotone encounter in Serie A Matchday four

Bologna – Sassuolo

Bologna has been what you would expect from Bologna. Inconsistent with wild swings in form. They were defeated by Milan in their opening fixture and turned that around with a 4-1 victory over Parma. In their next outing, Benevento secured a 1-0 win over them. They concede goals regularly, and their creative outlet is unreliable like them.

On the other hand, there is a renaissance going on in Sassuolo. Roberto De Zerbi is ushering the Neroverdi into their next phase of evolution. Sassuolo are being trained in the dark arts of Gasperini at the Stadio Enzo Ricci, and it has worked for them so far. Like La Dea, they are fearless in attack and continuously improving. Both sides will hopefully kick off Sunday on the right note for football fans.

Spezia – Fiorentina

Spezia would not have hoped for better circumstances to welcome Fiorentina at the Stadio Dino Manuzzi. La Viola lost Federico Chiesa and are on a two-match losing spree. They are wasteful in attack and susceptible at the back — perfect conditions for a newly promoted side to face top-flight regulars.

The feeling is mutual for Fiorentina fans as the Bianconeri have been woeful at home. Sassuolo broke them with ease, and Giuseppe Iachini will undoubtedly have picked up notes from their hosts’ defeats.

Torino – Cagliari

Torino have not played a competitive fixture in two weeks and will look to give a good account of themselves. The Bulls have suffered defeats against Atalanta and Fiorentina, with Cagliari giving them their best opportunity at redemption. The Islanders have been equally woeful in defense, and their attacking unit is not something to write home about.

The home side will fancy their chances, but Cagliari can spring a surprise on them. Eusebio Di Francesco’s men stung Sassuolo, and in Giovanni Simeone, they have someone who can match Andrea Belotti’s talents. It will be a cagey affair as there is little to separate the two sides.

Udinese – Parma

Udinese have been involved in low scoring encounters in Serie A this season. However, they are the only side yet to open their goalscoring account. The Zebras have been unlucky in attack and hope their sterility going forward comes to an end against Parma. Ignominy in history books awaits them if they fail to get on the scoreboard.

On the other hand, Parma are equally profligate in front of the goal. Despite more points, Parma have a worse defensive record and a similar -4 goal difference. It will be a low scoring affair at the Stadio Friuli given both sides’ inability to score.

Roma – Benevento

Paulo Fonseca’s men are favorites against unfancy Benevento, although they trail the newly promoted side by two-points and three places on the Serie A table.

Benevento have impressed in victories over Sampdoria and Bologna, but their quality in attack caught up with them in Inter’s visit to the Stadio Ciro Vigorito.

Roma are slowly coming to their own as the season gets into full swing. They started with a 3-0 defeat to Verona, followed it up with a fighting 2-2 draw against champions Juventus and landed their first win of the season in against the hapless Udinese. The match makes for exciting reading, and the Romans will go out guns blazing to secure the points at the Stadio Olimpico.

Pedro and Dzeko looking lead Roma for a second Serie A victory this season in Matchday four

Verona – Genoa

The final match of matchday four will be played on Monday, October 19, between Hellas Verona and Genoa. The Mastiffs continue to give dogged appearances, giving nothing away no matter who comes across them. On the other hand, Genoa come into the fixture after a lengthy layoff due to the coronavirus outbreak in their dressing room.

Rolando Maran could not lead his side against Torino. He will eagerly be awaiting the trip to the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi to put their defeat against Napoli in the rear view mirror. While Verona’s last two games resulted in 1-0 results, the Rossoblu have had wide swings. They won 4-1 against Crotone and then followed it with the 6-0 at the San Paolo. It will be an even affair, and the side which is stable at the back will take the honors.