Novara v Inter

Two teams who are yet to get the taste of victory this season kick-off this midweek round of fixtures. Newly promoted Novara are certainly a side that is expected to fight it out for survival come the latter stages of the season but theya��ve shown a lot of tenacity in these early weeks. In their previous two away games, Novara lost against Cagliari but put a great fight against Chievo and came back from two goals down to salvage a point in a difficult away trip. After 55 years, they play their first home game in Serie A on a synthetic pitch which they implemented for almost a year and a half now.

Intera��s season hasna��t begun the way they woulda��ve wanted, having drawn one game and lost another and has been deemed a disaster so far. Manager Gasperini has been the subject of a huge amount of criticism mostly due to his affiliation towards a 3 man defence, but Moratti has continued to maintain his trust in the former Genoa manager. Anything other than a win for the Nerazzurri will signal a crisis at Inter and might wear out Morattia��s patience.

TheHardTacklea��s Prediction a�� Novara 1 – 2 Inter

AC Milan v Udinese

Like their neighbours Inter, Milan are yet to record a win in the league. Whata��s probably more surprising is the reigning Champions have conceded 5 goals in 2 games. A team that supposedly built their success last season on a water-tight defence is struggling to contain opposition attackers. In fairness to Milan though, the fixture list hasna��t been too kind to them and with Udinese up next it wona��t ease up on the Rossoneri. Theya��ve also had bad luck with injuries since the start of the season which havena��t helped their cause at all.

Udinese have had a fantastic start to the season having won both their games without conceding. Critics questioned their ability to recover from the loss of three inspirational players that were sold in the summer but Francesco Guidolina��s side seemed to have squashed their doubts, for now at least. The fixture between these two sides was one of the most entertaining games in Serie A last season which ended up 4-4.

TheHardTacklea��s Prediction a�� AC Milan 2 – 2 Udinese

Cesena v Lazio

Their second consecutive season in the top flight of Italian football has started poorly for Cesena with back-to-back defeats to Napoli and Catania. This time last season Cesena had conquered the mighty Milan but they may face a case of second season syndrome and will find it hard to maintain their Serie A status. The Seahorses at home on their recently installed synthetic pitch face a tough task against Lazio.

Edy Rejaa��s constant squabbles with the Lazio fans hasna��t ceased yet. The manager almost quit his post at the helm of the Aquile after fans criticized him following the defeat at home to Genoa. Lazio have yet to win a league game this season but they just cana��t seem to hold on to their leads. Having scored first against Milan and Genoa, Lazio dropped points from winning positions.

TheHardTacklea��s Prediction a�� Cesena 0 – 1 Lazio

Chievo Verona v Napoli

The side from Verona started their campaign with a disappointing draw at home to Novara and then succumbed to defeat to a Sebastian Giovinco inspired Parma outfit. Chievo are lower/mid-table specialists and always do well against the bigger outfits in Calcio. They, however, will have to deal with the absence of their captain and club idol Sergio Pellissier.

The Flying Donkeys host a high-flying Napoli at home. The Naples based outfit have continued their impressive form from last season with two wins out of two and are sitting pretty at the top of the table. Edinson Cavani was on fire against Milan during the weekend and certainly underlined his teama��s ambitions for this season with a stellar hat-trick against the Rossoneri. Chievo isna��t an easy place to visit but Napoli have it in them to sneak home all three points

TheHardTacklea��s Prediction Chievo Verona 1 – 2 Napoli

Fiorentina v Parma

La Viola have had a mixed start to their season with a 2-0 win against Bologna and then a defeat to Udinese by the same score-line. Worringly though for Fiorentina, Alberto Gilardino received a nasty injury against Udinese and faces a six week spell on the sidelines. While the continuing Montolivo saga will go on until the midfielder leaves the club. Mihajlovic was criticized by fans last season and has a point to prove this season with Fiorentina.

Giovinco - The man to watch

Parmaa��s form has been similar to that of Fiorentina. The Ducali were decimated away at Juventus but triumphed over Chievo courtesy of a Sebastian Giovinco double. La Formica Atomica also received his marching orders during the game and is hence ineligible for Parma. Sergio Floccari is expected to take his place against La Viola. At home, Fiorentina will fancy a victory against Parma though it wona��t be easy for them.

TheHardTacklea��s Prediction a�� Fiorentina 1 – 0 Parma

Genoa v Catania

Genoa have started their season in decent form. Theya��ve yet to taste defeat and are coming off a victory against Lazio at the Olimpico. Cristobal Jorquera came off from the bench to set-up Rodrigo Palacio wonderfully well to kick start their recovery. A lot is expected of Genoa after last seasona��s struggles and their free spending that summer. A place in Europe is the least president Preziosi will expect of manager Alberto Malesani and they certainly have the squad to achieve that goal.

Cataniaa��s start to the season has been strong. The Sicilians havena��t conceded a goal yet in the league. They followed their draw against Siena with a narrow win at home to Cesena. In terms of quality, Genoa will represent manager Vincenzo Montellaa��s toughest challenge yet with Catania. Genoa are favourites and might just scrape through this tie although Catania form a resilient unit.

TheHardTacklea��s Prediction a�� Genoa 1 – 0 Catania

Juventus v Bologna

The Bianconeri have been the talk of this seasona��s campaign. Antonio Contea��s men emphatically overcame Parma to christen the new stadium in style before grinding out a hard earned victory against a stubborn Siena side. Andrea Pirlo has been Juvea��s standout player this season, orchestrating play in characteristic fashion. While talk of the Scudetto seems a bit pre-mature right now, the team must have their eyes on a Champions League position next year and given their current form, few would call that unrealistic.

Pirlo - Change was good!

In Bologna though, Juve face a potential banana skin. The Rossoblu did well against the Bianconeri last season at the Olimpico and one can never rule out the potential of a former Juve player scoring against the Turin giants. Marco Di Vaio leads a very potent attack and will have every intention of scoring one against his former side yet again. Juve look strong enough to overcome this tricky hurdle and Bolognaa��s poor form right now doesna��t suggest otherwise

TheHardTacklea��s Prediction a�� Juventus 2 – 1 Bologna

Lecce v Atalanta

Lecce, this season, have gained plaudits so far for their attacking brand of football. Not much of a surprise though as their new coach Eusebio Di Francesco is admittedly a disciple of Zdenek Zemana��s footballing philosophy. The team looked full of ideas while making forays into opposition territory and really established themselves as an entertaining prospect for the season. They didna��t start their season off as they woulda��ve desired with a home loss to Udinese before making light work of Bologna away at the Dalla��Ara.

Atalanta have a long way to go this season. Handicapped by the early point deduction due to match-fixing scandal, Atalanta will have to play out of their skins this season to even manufacture the thought of survival. But their season has started brightly, first an entertaining 2-2 draw at the Marassi against Genoa before beating Palermo at home in terrible conditions. Atalanta will certainly take the fight to Lecce as they can ill-afford to drop points against the a�?smallera�� teams in the league.

TheHardTacklea��s Prediction –A�Lecce 1 – 1 Atalanta

Palermo v Cagliari

Devis Mangiaa��s side have gone from heroes to zeroes in a week. Having caused an upset with a 4-3 win against Inter, his side went down 1-0 to Atalanta in what was a water-logged pitch. The rain interrupted the game which had to be halted for a while. Having sold key players in the summer and letting go of their manager on deadline day, Palermo were expected to struggle this season. Indeed, it has been a mixed start for the Sicilians who might find it hard to replicate last seasona��s performance.

Cagliari though, have started off their season with two wins on the trot. An upset over Roma followed by a home win against Novara means Alberto Malesania��s side go into this fixture with a 100% record. It wona��t be easy for them at the Renzo Barbera though. Expect an entertaining game with both sides showing plenty of attacking intent right from the outset.

TheHardTacklea��s Prediction a�� Palermo 1 – 1 Cagliari

Roma v Siena

The Giallorossi played a goalless stalemate against Inter during the weekend and have frankly started off their season in a lackluster fashion. The round 2 loss against Cagliari certainly wasna��t the most encouraging start for Luis Enriquea��s side. A lot of pressure is on them by the ever-demanding Roma fans and against Siena they have the opportunity to score their first three points for this season. Daniele De Rossi was the stand-out performer against Inter and if he does continue his good form, Roma might be looking at a win.

Siena have shown in the early stages of this season that they can be a handful against their opposition. The Bianconeri have yet to score in Serie A this term but did give a good account of themselves against Juve. Organized defensively, they frustrated Juve who just about managed to bag all the three points. Make no mistake about it, Siena will be involved in the relegation dogfight but certainly have the potential to retain their Serie A status.

TheHardTacklea��s Prediction – Roma 2 – 0 Siena

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