OPINION: Serie A Matchday 1 Predictions
Check out these picks for Serie A Matchday 1
- AS Roma was one of the best teams on the road last season. They'll host Hellas Verona, a team that overachieved last campaign.
- Sassuolo frequently played in high-scoring affairs, producing the second-most fixtures with 2.5 or more goals.
- AC Milan has handled Bologna over their last nine meetings, ending in a draw once while winning eight.
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Hellas Verona vs. AS Roma
Roma was one of the best teams away from home during the 2019-20 Serie A season, as they ended the campaign on a four-game winning streak and only lost 5-of-19 matches away from Stadio Olimpico. They kick off the season on the road against Hellas Verona, a team that overachieved in 2019-20 and lost just five times on the road.
Roma saw 27 of their games end with over 2.5 goals, including each of the last five matches in the campaign, while 11 of Verona’s home games -- including four of the last five -- also saw the same outcome. Roma is the clear favorite in this contest, but the real value for this game is to play the over since both sides showed a clear free-scoring tendency throughout the final weeks of the 2019-20 campaign.
Sassuolo vs. Cagliari
Sassuolo may have ended the 2019-20 Serie A season in eighth-place while losing three of their last four league matches, but they stood out above the rest in one particular category -- their games routinely became high-scoring contests, as only one team in the league produced more matches with over 2.5 goals scored than Sassuolo (29) in the 2019-20 Serie A season -- Genoa ended with 30 matches delivering three or more goals.
Cagliari, on the other hand, only saw 19 of their games end with at least three strikes, although that happened in 10 of their away matches. If we also consider 17 of Sassuolo’s 19 home games last season featured at least three goals, then all signs seem to indicate this one will also end with over 2.5 goals. For what it's worth, Sassuolo’s Serie A games last season averaged 3.5 total goals per game, the second-best mark in Serie A.
AC Milan vs. Bologna
AC Milan is coming off a solid win over Shamrock Rovers in the UEFA Europa League qualifying rounds, and Milan begins the 2020-21 Serie A season with hopes of sneaking into the top-four race, something they’ve been unable to do in recent years. Milan might be boosted by the fact they ended the 2019-20 season on a strong note, however, winning four of their last five matches while posting a W9, D6, L4 record at home, also winning four of their last five contests in this venue.
Bologna was a rather average side when playing on the road during the 2019-20 season and posted a W7, D3, L9 record, but they ended the campaign on three-straight defeats and four games without a win. Milan also holds the edge in the head to head department, as they’ve gone undefeated in their last nine Serie A games against Bologna (W8, D1). That should be enough to treat them as favorites ahead of this contest.
Pick: AC Milan