AC Milan face Udinese, Juventus host Sassuolo and Inter travel to Pescara | Serie A previews

Round 3 of Serie A is already upon us as the players regroup at their clubs’ respective training grounds after a busy week of international football. TheHardTackle looks at a selection of Serie A games that are set to be among the most exciting this weekend. 


It is still early days in the Italian league, but Juventus already sit pretty at the top of the table with 6 points notched up with relative ease against two tough opponents in Lazio and Fiorentina. AC Milan and Inter Milan continue to struggle in the Serie A despite ownership and managerial changes at both clubs.

Pescara vs Inter Milan

The Delfino are the most exciting of the promoted teams this season and already have four points from their first two games. Massimo Oddo’s side surprised everyone with an opening day draw against Maurizio Sarri’s Napoli side. They lost their second match to Sassuolo despite dominating proceedings, but were awarded 3 points since Sassuolo fielded an unregistered player.

Pescara have a crop of very exciting players as they did last time they secured promotion, including the likes of Marco Verratti, Lorenzo Insigne, Juan Quintero and Ciro Immobile. Frank De Boer’s Inter side is off to a dismal start to the season with a home draw against lowly Palermo — a relegation favourite this year — and Chievo, and they will look to set the record straight against Pescara.

Probable Lineups

Pescara possible lineup (4-3-2-1): Bizzarri; Zampano, Campagnaro, Gyomber, Biraghi; Cristante, Aquilani, Bruno; Benali, Verre; Caprari

Pescara 3-5-2 football formation

Inter Milan possible lineup (4-3-3): Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, Miranda, Murillo, Santon; Medel, Banega, Kondogbia; Eder, Icardi, Perisic

F.C. Internazionale 3-5-2 football formation

Player to watch out for: Valerio Verre (Pescara)

The young Italian U21 international is one of the young gems in the Pescara lineup, along with Ahmed Benali and Inter-owned Gianluca Caprari, who can trouble De Boer’s shaky defence. Inter’s lack of depth in defence is a sad reflection on the inadequacies of their transfer window, where they strengthened their midfield and attack only to leave their defensive depth — especially the fullback positions — unaddressed.

Prediction: Pescara 1 – 2 Inter Milan

Inter's Ivan Perisic (C) celebrates with his teammates after scoring the 0-1 goal during the Italian Serie A soccer match between AS Roma and FC Inter at the Olimpico stadium in Rome, Italy, 19 March 2016. EPA/ETTORE FERRARI
Inter’s Ivan Perisic (C) celebrates with his teammates after scoring the 0-1 goal during the Italian Serie A soccer match between AS Roma and FC Inter at the Olimpico stadium in Rome, Italy, 19 March 2016. EPA/ETTORE FERRARI

AC Milan vs Udinese

Milan have been affected by injuries and bans early on in the season, and their poor transfer window has only added to their woes early on in the season. However, Vincenzo Montella will still find that he has options available to him. The versatile Giacomo Bonaventura can replace M’Baye Niang in the attacking trident, meaning Andrea Poli or new loan signing Mario Pasalic from Chelsea could step in to take his spot in midfield.

New signing Jose Sosa might also feature for Milan, replacing Juraj Kucka in the midfield. Gabriel Paletta is likely to be back after Gustavo Gomez’s lack of experience showed against Napoli. Udinese have found their feet in the league after being trounced in the opening game by title contenders Roma. They will look to continue their winning ways after picking up a victory against Empoli in Round 2.

Probable Lineups

AC Milan possible lineup (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Abate, Paletta, Romagnoli, De Sciglio; Sosa, Montolivo, Pasalic; Suso, Bacca, Bonaventura

A.C. Milan 3-5-2 football formation

Udinese possible lineup (4-4-2): Karnezis; Widmer, Felipe, Danilo, Armero; Badu, Kone, Fofana, De Paul; Zapata, Thereau

Udinese 3-5-2 football formation

Player to watch out for: Rodrigo De Paul

The left winger was one of the most underrated signings of this window in Italy. The 22-year-old had an unsuccessful campaign at Valencia and was loaned back to Racing where he made his name before being transferred to Udinese. Milan were interested in the Argentine once upon a time but his price tag was deemed too unreasonable at that point.

Prediction: AC Milan 1 – 1 Udinese

Juventus vs Sassuolo

Juventus will lock heads with Eusebio Di Fransesco’s men after the latter were docked 3 hard-earned points against Pescara for fielding an ineligible player — a decision that the Neroverdi will appeal in the days to come. However, they will be missing their talisman Domenico Berardi going into Saturday’s game. Berardi has been in excellent form lately, scoring goals in Serie A as well as the Europa League qualifiers. 23-year-old Matteo Politano will take his place alongside Alessandro Matri and Gregoire Defrel.

Politano has impressed after making it into the first team following the sale of Nicola Sansone to Spain’s Villarreal. Medhi Benatia could make his first start in Juventus colours in place of Giorgio Chiellini, who had a torrid two weeks with Italy and Juventus.

Probable Lineups

Juventus possible lineup (3-5-2): Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Benatia; Dani Alves, Khedira, Pjanic, Asamoah, Evra; Higuain, Dybala

Juventus 3-5-2 football formation

Sassuolo possible lineup (4-3-3): Consigli; Gazzola, Acerbi, Cannavaro, Peluso; Duncan, Magnanelli, Biondini; Defrel, Matri, Politano

Sassuolo 3-4-2-1 football formation

Player to watch out for: Alfred Duncan (Sassuolo) 

The former Inter youth player is one of the most underrated player in the Neroverdi lineup that consists of young Italian talents like Pol Lirola, Berardi and Politano. Yet his talent as a box-to-box midfielder is not going unnoticed in the peninsula. Energetic, filled with running, dribbling and an eye for a goal, he is in the mould of Napoli’s Allan and Roma’s Radja Nainggolan and is a midfielder who can impress with a screamer from 25 yards.

Prediction: Juventus 2 – 0 Sassuolo

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