Serie A returns as Juve jostle Udinese and AC Milan vie with Viola
Serie A returns from its summer hiatus in style, with a host of fascinating opening fixtures. So, Coral experts pick out and preview two of the best from the Italian top tier, as champions Juventus host Udinese and new-look AC Milan travel to face Fiorentina.
Juve clearly have the upperhand in this clash in front of home fans, which they are heavily odds-on favourites at 2/9 to win.
The visiting Little Zebras have only ever tasted victory against the Old Lady in seven of 42 match-ups, and travel having failed to score against the Turin team in an of their past five meetings.
Udinese talisman Antonio Di Natale is still leading the line for his side and, crucially, has scored 16 strikes in 23 games against Juve, despite only ending on the triumphant team on four occasions. So, back the evergreen Italian at a fabulous 10/3 to be on target anytime, while, fresh from grabbing a goal in the Coppa Italia, Cyril Thereau is 7/2 in the same market.
As for Juventus, there should be several new faces on show from the Piedmont club, and punters can pick from a terrific trio of new striker signings in former Palermo poacher Paulo Dybala (4/1 to open scoring), marquee marksman Mario Mandzukic (3/1 to net last) and ex-Sassuolo sharpshooter Simone Zaza (13/10 to notch anytime). Too many attacking options to choose from? customers can also back Juve at 7/2 to score four or more instead.
With fresh faces pushing for starts in defence too, including young centre back Daniele Rugani and exciting full back purchase Alex Sandro, the Old Lady are 4/6 to completely shut out Udinese.
Meanwhile, in Tuscany, it has also been a summer of change for hosts Fiorentina and guests AC Milan. Both begin their campaigns with new coaches, as Viola bid goodbye to Vincenzo Montella, with former Swansea City coach Paulo Sousa taking over the reins, while Sinisa Mihajlovic replaced Rossoneri playing hero Pippo Inzaghi at the San Siro.
Fiorentina are always tough cookies on home turf, so are 10/11 favourites for the win at the Stadio Artemio Franchi. The Viola do, in fact, have an excellent recent record against the Rossoneri, having only lost one of their last eight encounters against the Milanese men.
So, the challenge for new coach Mihajlovic, is to see off his side’s bogey team in a tough start away from home, which the former set-piece specialist is 14/5 to do. Though, considering AC only managed one point against Viola last term, a draw at 5/2 would be a respectable result.
Expectations for the fallen giants are sky high this season after a summer of spending, however, so there are again plenty of tempting scorer markets to choose from.
The brilliant signing of Carlos Bacca (13/2 to draw first blood), a recent Europa League winner with former side Sevilla, can only be bettered by fellow new recruit Luiz Adriano, who is a nifty 9/4 anytime shout, while midfield addition Andrea Bertolacci is a 14/5 chance to bag on his bow.
For Fiorentina, take odds of 9/2 for returning goal threat Giuseppe Rossi to grab the first, or back young-gun Khouma Babacar at 6/1 to have the final say.
Betting tip: back potent Bacca at 13/2 bring his scoring boots and strike first