Napoli v Milan Saturday, 19:30 Live on Eleven Sports 2 and Betfair Live Video
After last week's postponement, Milan start their 2018-19 campaign with a tough trip to Naples to face their old player and Coach Carlo Ancelotti. Napoli have early season momentum after their dramatic win at Lazio, and victory here would set them up perfectly for another run at the title.
Napoli still look short of numbers for a realistic season-long tilt, but that won't affect their early form, and with Dries Mertens left out last week, Ancelotti has already shown that he will try and use his squad sensibly. Arkadiusz Milik and Lorenzo Insigne came up trumps for him last week, and Ancelotti seems happy to allow his players to maintain a Maurizio Sarri style: high intensity, high energy, it worked last week.
Milan have gradually started to sort out the off-field issues which have plagued them in recent years, and have recruited well this summer too. Gonzalo Higuain will start against his old club, and it would seem that Tiemoue Bakayoko will go straight into the team after his disappointing experience with Chelsea. I think they're set for a good season, but I'm not convinced that it will start here.
Everything points towards goals at the San Paolo on Saturday night, though. This is a fixture which has traditionally thrown up high-scoring games, with 33 goals in the last nine meetings here, and with Napoli capable of ripping it up against an open-looking Milan, and the Rossoneri fresh from a week off and with a serious attacking threat of their own, I expect Napoli to win a high-scoring game. These two teams have had more shots at goal than any other Serie A sides in 2018, and that's a trend that's set to continue.
Juve-Lazio rarely dull
Juventus v Lazio Saturday, 17:00 Live on Eleven Sports 1 and Betfair Live Video
The Cristiano Ronaldo show moves from Verona to Turin this Saturday afternoon, and Max Allegri will be looking for a more convincing performance from his team after Federico Bernardeschi's last minute heroics grabbed them an opening day win against Chievo.
Ronaldo didn't get on the scoresheet at the Bentegodi, and will be desperate to score a first Serie A goal this weekend as Lazio come to town. More pertinently, we'll learn a lot more about the strengths and weaknesses of Allegri's team, particularly defensively.
Even though I have my doubts about Juve at the back, it was still a surprise to see them concede twice to Chievo, and Lazio bring a lot more to the party. They led against Napoli, before being beaten by an excellent comeback, and Simone Inzaghi will be keen to get the kind of result that gets rid of last season's hangover. And remember that Lazio won here last season, as well as beating Juve in the Italian Super Cup.
Ciro Immobile showed all of his quality for that opening goal against Napoli, and the difficulty for him against Juventus will be getting the kind of support that he needs to trouble Allegri's back four in the way that Chievo did. He was isolated on occasion in that opening game, and needs Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Luis Alberto to play closer to him.
Juventus look set to be an entertaining team to watch this season, and with Lazio proving once again last week that they struggle to be in a dull game, I think that there'll be goals here. Juve do look short to me at1.39, and laying them is a temptation, but Over 3.5 Goals is the call at [2.8].
Toro can add to Inter trouble
Inter v Torino Sunday, 19:30 Live on Eleven Sports 2 and Betfair Live Video
Three of the big Serie A teams managed to find a way to win last week, but as has happened so frequently in recent years, it was Inter who fluffed their lines, going down at Sassuolo and putting themselves under instant pressure.
This week won't be easy either, as they face a Torino side who battled hard against Roma last week and were unfortunate to lose, having a goal (correctly but narrowly) ruled out for offside, and missing one or two good chances before succumbing to Edin Dzeko late on. They may be destined for another mid-table finish, but they'll be a handful, with Andrea Belotti looking back to his form of two seasons ago, and Iago Falque in able support.
I'm still confident that Inter will click into gear and emerge as the big challengers to Juventus this season, but it may take a while. Luciano Spalletti remains a fine Coach, but one who needs to work out the identity of his best team, and once his players have settled into the season, they'll find their rhythm. Lautaro Martinez was poor against Sassuolo for example, but as a young player he's allowed a poor performance, and it's Mauro Icardi who Inter will look to for goals once again.
Walter Mazzarri is an expert as setting teams up for games like this, and he's no lover of Inter, having spent a disappointing spell with them four years ago. Torino will be organised and fired up, and Inter look too short to win this one, especially given the fact that Torino have won three of their last seven Serie A games against this weekend's opposition.