Inter v Fiorentina
Sunday, 19:45
Live on BT Sport 2

This is the time of year when Inter fans feel hopeful and the rest of Italy laugh behind their hands, but this season there may be genuine cause for optimism. Inter are in a similar position to Roma, in that they haven't made huge alterations to their squad, but have a new Coach and will try to make best use of what that they already had.

The arrival of Luciano Spalletti is obviously a huge boost. I think that he will bring his high energy style to San Siro and we may see the results of that here. Inter became a team to follow in terms of goals towards the end of last season, with 8 of their 13 games producing Over 3.5 goals, and three of the others Over 2.5. Spalletti's teams have always been free scoring and less than watertight defensively, and so I think there's a good chance of goals here.

That of course depends on Fiorentina coming to the party as well, and with former Inter Coach Stefano Pioli in charge, there'll be visitors to San Siro with a point to prove. Unfortunately for them, hitman Nikola Kalinic - who has an excellent scoring record against Inter - is on strike as he attempts to force a transfer to Milan. Teenage talent Federico Chiesa is also suspended.

Pioli's first instinct is to be expansive, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if this fixture went a similar way to last season, when it finished 4-2 in Inter's favour, not to mention the epic 5-4 Viola victory in Florence.

These two have met twice before on Matchday One, and those games produced a total of 11 goals. This one may just fit that trend.

Recommended Bet
Back Over 3.5 Goals in Inter v Fiorentina @ 2.90

Atalanta v Roma
Sunday, 17:00
Live on BT Sport 2

The heart has been ripped out of an Atalanta team that did so well to finish fourth in Serie A last season, and while there has been a lot of talk about them regenerating in this campaign, I find it hard to see how they'll replace what they have lost.

Gian Piero Gasperini is a borderline genius, but I'm not sure that even he can cope with the loss of Andrea Conti and Franck Kessie. With Papu Gomez unlikely to enjoy the same stellar season that he did in the last campaign, reality may bite for Atalanta, and it could well start on the opening weekend.

Roma may also have taken a backward step, losing Mohamed Salah to Liverpool and Luciano Spalletti to Inter, but it's nowhere near as damaging as the business done in Bergamo this summer. Roma already had a stellar squad, and while Gregoire Defrel is an inadequate replacement for Salah, and Eusebio Di Francesco is unproven at this level, it may not matter. Roma won their last seven Serie A away games last season, and look set to continue here.

The Giallorossi still have the brilliant Radja Nainggolan to drive them from midfeld, they still have Edin Dzeko to score a hatful of goals, and they should have too much for Atalanta. The game will tell us a lot, and I don't believe that Roma will slip up early, and will back them to come away with a win.

Atalanta have lost more opening day Serie A games than any other side in history, and I expect their grand total to rise to 29.

Recommended Bet
Back Roma to beat Atalanta @ 2.30

Verona v Napoli
Saturday, 19:45
Crotone v Milan
Sunday, 19:45
Live on BT Sport

There are slim pickings on this opening matchday, and so I'm going to take a route that I don't travel very often. Milan have recruited very well, and why I don't see them having the staying power to win Serie A, they'll be a much more formidable proposition. Given how keen they are to get off to a winning start, they'll have far too much for Crotone.

Crotone performed a miracle last season to save themselves on the final day, and have made one or two interesting signings (watch out for the on loan Juve man Rolando Mandragora), but this is a new Milan, and they're unlikely to make the same mistake as the old one did last season, when they drew 1-1 here. They're 1.61 for the win, and I'll take them in a double with Napoli.

Napoli head for Verona, who are back in Serie A, and have a horribly difficult first few games. They've added Alessio Cerci to their team, and the Antonio Cassano timebomb has already gone off pre-season with his signing swiftly followed by retirement. Deep down I'm not sure that Verona are really good enough to survive. Napoli are likely to keep up their excellent form from the end of last season, and while it's not a particularly sexy bet at 1.42, I have no problem at all on a poor weekend in doubling them up with Milan.

Recommended Bet
Back Milan/Napoli win double @ 2.30

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