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 a couple of key fixtures from Sunday's Serie A action.
Sampdoria v Atalanta (Sunday 2pm)
Glancing at the league table, you could be fooled into thinking this has been a disappointing start to the season for Atalanta. A team who surprised everyone to finish fourth last time out now sit all the way down in 11th.
The fixture list, though, casts this story in a different light. Their seven games so far include visits from Roma and Juventus, along with trips to Napoli and Fiorentina. All this, whilst also navigating the Europa League group stage, with demanding fixtures against Everton and Lyon. That Atalanta have not lost in any competition since the start of September is, in fact, rather remarkable.
This game, though, feels like a potential banana skin. Sampdoria do not carry the same big-name cachet as the aforementioned sides, yet they were unbeaten right up until a surprise implosion at Udinese just before the international break. They will be without Edgar Barreto, sent off in that game, but otherwise close to full-strength.
For Atalanta, the greatest concerns will revolve around the condition of Papu Gómez, who, like Dybala, has covered vast distances over the past two weeks (and, unlike Dybala, actually played) with the Argentinian national side. Atalanta are more than one player, but he has been essential time and again in breaking matches open for them.
- Correct Score: Sampdoria 2, Atalanta 1 (9-1, Unibet)
- First scorer: Fabio Quagliarella (8-5, Unibet)
- Both teams to score (3-5, Unibet)
Inter v Milan (Sunday 7.45pm)
Vincenzo Montella believes the Derby della Madonnina has arrived at the right moment. Awarded a vote of confidence by his bosses before the international break, the Milan manager knows this fixture offers him a quick opportunity to reward their faith and show that lessons have been learned from the three defeats suffered already this season.
He certainly has an impressive record in these kinds of matches. From Sicily to Genoa and now Milan, he has presided over seven derbies in his managerial career, and lost only one.
Inter, though, have been a much better side than Milan so far this season. Not perfect, by any stretch, but certainly a great deal more balanced. Ivan Perisic has found a consistency under Luciano Spalletti that was missing last season. New signing Milan Skriniar has brought stability at the back.
The Rossoneri, by contrast, still seem trapped in transition, yet to establish a clear identity – let alone a tactical shape – after their summer splurge. Montella is expected to call upon a few more of the old guard for this fixture, restoring at least a little continuity by bringing Giacomo Bonaventura and Suso back into the side. Will that be enough, though, to turn the tide?
- Correct Score: Inter 2, Milan 0 (21-2, Unibet)
- First scorer: Mauro Icardi (37-10, Unibet)
- Icardi to score any time (6-5, 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.