There is no doubt about it, expectations are high at Inter this season. However, the team will take a while to become accustomed to Conte’s style and methods. Striker Romelu Lukaku may also take time to adjust to Serie A.
With those factors in mind, Inter may not blow the visitors away in this opening game. The Nerazzurri should have enough to win the clash with the Serie A new boys. Win for inter Milan
Parma have struggled in front of goal this season, scoring just 40 goals in 37 matches. They come here with their season over, but that doesn’t mean this is going to be some final day thriller. They make this trip without Roberto Inglese and Gervinho, who have scored 20 of those 40 goals between them. The visitors are away to Ranieri’s Roma, which is a very different prospect to the Eusebio Di Francesco side. The hosts have become a lot more defensively sound under their new boss, but it’s come at the cost of their impressive attacking football from earlier this term.
The hosts have seen under 2.5 goals in six of their last seven matches, while they’ve won to nil in their last three at the Stadio Olimpico. The Giallorossi have kept five clean sheets in their last seven outings overall, while they won the reverse fixture 2-0. We expect another low scoring clash, with Parma seeing fewer than four goals in 70% of their Serie A games. Against this Roma side, we expect little joy for the visitors. Under 3.5 goals is our pick here, along with a 2-0 home win.
Sassuolo have certainly looked like a different team at home, having picked up 58% of their points and 63% of their goals at their own stadium. Worryingly, they’re a little more open here – conceding just 42% of their goals so far on the road. Even looking a little deeper we can see the difference location makes for Sassuolo. They’ve averaged three more shots per game at home than away, while their shot conversion rate is just 8% on the road. However, they’ve also conceded 14% of the shots they’ve faced at home, having gifted more opportunities to opponents at the MAPEI.
Atalanta are another side who have a very different record on the road. They’ve averaged more goals per game on their travels, having scored 41 times in 18 trips so far. They’ve also conceded more on the road, while they have one of Italy’s strongest away records. They come into this game following a 6-2 demolition of Sassuolo at this ground earlier in the season. La Dea have also scored 14 times in their last six trips to this stadium to face Sassuolo. Overall we expect goals here, so both teams to score is our pick.
While it’s going to be hard for Empoli, that win at Sampdoria should spur them on. They are likely to go out on the offensive in this encounter, while we expect the visitors to leave gaps as a result. It would be a surprise if they suddenly turned on the style which has brought them this far. After all, it helped them thump seventh-placed Torino 4-1 last weekend. They’ve won three games on the spin, while they’ve scored 10 times in their last five matches. That should be enough to worry an Inter side who were just torn up by Napoli.
Given Inter’s six-game winning run over Empoli, we expect them to score. After all, Empoli have conceded in 89% of their league games. The visitors have seen over 2.5 goals in 24 of their last 29 games, while both teams have scored in 65% of their matches this term. We’re going for both teams to score as our tip here, while we see Inter pulling off a 2-1 win.