11 September 2014 14:18
Simone Zaza will be looking to build on an impressive start to his Italy career when Sassuolo take on Inter this weekend.
The striker was one of the standout performers as Antonio Conte’s men picked up victories in a friendly against Netherlands followed by their opening Euro 2016 qualifier in Norway.
A goal in the second of those fixtures will have done Zaza’s chances of retaining a place in the national set-up the world of good, but his domestic form could prove just as important to that end.
The 23-year-old found the net in the season-opening 1-1 draw with Cagliari to initially catch Conte’s eye, and his goals will undoubtedly prove crucial as Sassuolo bid to preserve their top-flight status.
Along with Juventus loanee Domenico Berardi, who netted 16 league goals last term, Zaza forms part of a Sassuolo attacking line that is likely to cause problems for some, but Inter will be keen to get a first win under their belt at San Siro on Saturday.
Walter Mazzarri’s men were held to a goalless draw at Torino in their first match of the season – a fixture Nemanja Vidic will want to forget after conceding a penalty and receiving a late red card.
The dismissal rules the Serbian out for this weekend.
Defending champions Juventus welcome Udinese to Turin in a clash between two sides who started their season with maximum points.
Centre-back Giorgio Chiellini looks set to miss out for the hosts after a calf injury caused something of a club-versus-country row with Italy last week, while Arturo Vidal looks set to feature after playing down fears over the recurrence of a knee injury.
Things have been far from rosy at Napoli so far this season, with lingering reports of a rift between coach Rafael Benitez and president Aurelio De Laurentiis threatening to blight their start to the season.
However, the Stadio San Paolo outfit started with a 2-1 win at Genoa and will be confident of a repeat performance at home to Chievo.
Marco van Ginkel – on loan from Chelsea – could be among the debutants as Milan travel to Parma on Sunday, while Micah Richards will be one of those looking to make a first appearance for Fiorentina after making a temporary switch from Manchester City. The Florence club are at home to Genoa.
Roma have been bolstered by the arrivals of Jose Holebas and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa since their 2-0 win over Fiorentina, and could hand the duo debuts at Empoli.
Elsewhere, Sampdoria host Torino, Atalanta visit Cagliari and Lazio are at home against Cesena.
Verona and Palermo round of the second round of fixtures at Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi, in a match which could see Javier Saviola make his debut for the hosts.