WE'VE sealed another stellar signing for the new campaign with Serie A don Paolo Bandini bringing his expertise to the site thanks to our partner Unibet.
Paolo is an Anglo-Italian sportswriter who pens a superb weekly Serie A column for the Guardian and his other credits include ESPN, the BBC and TalkSport as well as making regular appearances on the Football Weekly podcast.
He's a Trevi Fountain of knowledge and we're delighted to have him on board. He runs the rule over Saturday's opening Serie A showdown.
Udinese v Sampdoria (Saturday 5pm)
Napoli, Juventus, Inter and … Sampdoria? Of those four remaining unbeaten sides in Serie A, the last is undoubtedly the most surprising. Samp have played one game fewer than their rivals, but you could hardly say they’ve had it easy. They have won away to Fiorentina, drawn at Torino and most recently beaten Milan at home.
They also stand to benefit this weekend from what Italians like to call ‘the immutable law of the ex’ – since centre-forward Duván Zapata was playing for Udinese these past two seasons. He also happens to have scored in each of the last three games he has started (one of which was for the Friuli).
His chances of extending that run look good. Udinese have lost five of their first six games – making this their joint-worst start to a top-flight campaign. On both of the previous occasions that they started this poorly, they finished up getting relegated to Serie B.
An injury to club captain, and starting centre-back, Danilo, has not helped matters, whilst right-back Silvan Widmer, out since before the start of the season, is also badly missed. Neither is in contention to play this weekend, or perhaps for a little while yet.
- Correct Score: Udinese 0, Sampdoria 2 (13-1, Unibet)
- First scorer: Duvan Zapata (7-1, Unibet)
- Safe bet: Sampdoria draw no bet (10-11, Unibet)
Anglo-Italian Paolo Bandini writes about Italian football for the Guardian and his tips appear here thanks to our football partner at MrFixitsTips, Unibet. They're making a big splash in the UK betting scene and if you join them today you can claim up to £30 in Welcome Bonuses when you deposit and place your first bet.