Juventus striker Paulo Dybala is in fantastic scoring form ahead of Wednesday’s Serie A clash with Fiorentina in Turin.
The Argentinian No. 10 scored a fantastic hattrick over the weekend in their 3-1 win over Sassuolo, taking his tally up to eight goals in four league matches.
"I like all my goals, because they’re worth the same," Dybala told JTV. "Some are more beautiful, others less, but what matters is that they’re important.
"I train a lot, I bet a lot with Miralem [Pjanic] on free-kicks. I have to score so I can win the challenge! Right now I’m ahead, but he’s dangerous."
Juve have made a perfect start to the season with four wins in a row, while the Viola lost their opening couple of matches but won the next two, leaving them mid-table ahead of the meeting at Allianz Stadium.
Fiorentina goalkeeper Marco Sportiello acknowledged Dybala’s threat, but insists that they must focus on the team before the individual.
"He’s a great player in great form," Sportiello told TgR Toscana. "I think we have to stop Juve first though, before the Argentine. The Bianconeri have world class players, but we’ll try."
Pietro Pellegri sparked a mixture of emotions on Sunday when he set a new Serie A record in Genoa's 3-2 defeat to Lazio at Stadio Luigi Ferraris.
The Grifone youth product netted both goals for his side to become the youngest player in the history of the league to score twice in one game - at 16 years and 184 days.
Ciro Immobile's late winner took some gloss off the occasion, but Marco Pellegri was moved to tears by his son's record-breaking feat, with dad sitting in the home dugout during the match.
"It's a dream come true that I've had since I was a child," the teenager told Mediaset. "It was an important evening for me and my father."
Pellegri also shares a record with Amedeo Amadei as the league's youngest-ever debutant, after making his bow for the first team in December 2016 at the tender age of 15 years and 280 days.
Lazio manager Simone Inzaghi has expressed his delight with Ciro Immobile, who scored a brace in Sunday’s 3-2 win over Genoa.
The Italy international striker has six goals from his last four Serie A appearances, two of which secured three points on Sunday after a brace from Pietro Pellegri had put Genoa ahead despite Bastos opening the scoring for Lazio.
"We’re really happy with Ciro," Inzaghi said. "He’s a champion and has really got us accustomed to the good life with him.
"Ciro is wonderful, as in just a few months he earned his status as a leader with his attitude on the field and above all the way he acts in training and in the locker room. It’s an honour to work with him.
"We know the level in Serie A has increased this season, our competitors have reinforced and we know it’ll be more difficult for us because we’re in the Europa League as well. It’ll be a pleasure to have those extra games, as we fought hard to get this opportunity."
Lazio have another league match coming up on Wednesday when Napoli come to town as the early leaders with four wins out of four. “It will undoubtedly be very tough against Napoli," Inzaghi added. "We know what we’re going into."
Juventus forward Paulo Dybala marked his 100th game for the Italian champions with a hat-trick against Sassuolo on Sunday afternoon.
The 23-year-old, who joined the Old Lady from Palermo in 2015, has raced to the milestone in his third season at the Juventus Stadium.
Dybala has now netted eight times in his first four league encounters and could not hide his delight after marking his special day with an incredible performance.
"It's great and I am feeling really happy about it. It's an amazing achievement that wasn't easy to reach at all. I am proud of having reached it with Juventus," he told Mediaset Premium.
The Argentina international has scored 10 goals in six games across all competitions for the Bianconeri this term.
Stefano Pioli believes Fiorentina have recovered from their poor start to the season and wants them to take their current momentum into the Derby dell'Appennino.
The Viola did well to recover from two defeats in their opening matches of the new Serie A season, thrashing Hellas Verona 5-0.
The result did a great deal for his and the team's confidence and Pioli is hoping for a continuation of this performance as they prepare to take on Bologna on Saturday.
"What I have seen so far is all positive. We are on the right track," Pioli said during a pre-match press conference.
"Having said that, one is always eager to improve, so I am observing the situation carefully," he continued. "The win over Verona gave us some good signals, but this is another game against a team that did well last week.
"Bologna have players like Federico Di Francesco and Simone Verdi who combine quality with real pace, so we need to keep an eye on them.
"We have to stay focused and keep working on our ideas," the 51-year-old added.
Having managed Bologna from 2011 to 2014, the fixture has special significance for Pioli and the manager made a point of highlighting what a reunion means for him.
"It was an important training ground for me," he stated. "But all that counts now is the present. We want to give a sense of consistency to our performances and that means the right approach for 90 minutes, so we're ready to pounce on any opposition error.
"I saw great maturity in my squad because they weren't depressed after the defeats, nor sated following the victory. Obviously, it gives us some more enthusiasm and we are happy to ride that wave, but with the right humility. Our journey has just begun."
Atalanta president Antonio Percassi admitted that his side's remarkable return to European football is a night that he will remember for a very long time.
The Serie A club, who reclaimed their place on the European stage after an absence of 26 years, brushed aside their esteemed Europa League opponents Everton with a commanding 3 - 0 victory at the Mapei Stadium in Reggio-Emilia on Thursday.
Speaking to the Italian sports publication La Gazzetta Dello Sport a full two days after the result, Percassi still barely maintained his joy over the result, heaping praise on his inexperienced team.
"I only had about three hours of sleep after that game. After a night like that, it was impossible. How could I rest?" he started.
"That night will be remembered for a very long time. It was the celebration of an entire city and it felt like being in Bergamo rather than Reggio-Emilia. There were 15,000 fans and they were exceptional.
"Coming back into Europe after 26 years and playing a match like that really gave you goosebumps. The first half was one of the best in my Presidency, considering the intensity of the performances and the chances created. It felt like the second half of last season's 2-1 win over Roma.
"Everton are a very strong side, and Wayne Rooney nearly scored a fine goal, but Atalanta were so well set-out that we made them look bad. We were so motivated.
"Andrea Petagna had his best game in an Atalanta jersey, creating two goals, and his assist for Bryan Cristante was extraordinary. He isn't scoring at the moment, but sooner or later, the goals will come for him too.
"Andrea Masiello gave his heart and soul. We did well to wait for him, as a player and a man.
"Papu Gomez wanted to play in Europe, he waited so long to get that chance and he celebrated it in the best possible way with a great goal," he said about the Argentinean striker who scored a terrific goal to put his side two goals in the lead.
Atalanta's next opponents in the competition will be Olympique Lyonnais, who they face at the Groupama Stadium on 28 September.
Atalanta captain Alejandro Gomez fulfilled a lifelong ambition on Thursday as he scored on his Europa League debut against Everton.
The one-cap Argentina international scored the second goal in a 3-0 win over the Toffees, his first European adventure having already made over 200 Serie A appearances for La Dea and previous club Catania.
"I was very emotional because I have been waiting a lifetime for this moment," Gomez told Sky Sport Italia.
"I am not a young kid anymore so to play my first Europa League game at 29 and beat Everton is very emotional.
"The main thing is that the team played a devastating first half. We could have got a goal or two more in the second half, but it is all good."
Appearing on the continental stage marked not just a personal ambition for Gomez, but a long-awaited return to European football for the whole club.
"As soon as we got here, we saw how many people had come," Gomez added. "They made it very emotional. After 26 years, we have made a city very happy."
Everton get their Europa League campaign underway with a tricky test away to Serie A side Atalanta on Thursday.
The Toffees made it through the play-off with wins over Slovakian side Ruzomberok and Croatian's Hajduk Split earlier this year, having finished seventh in the Premier League last season.
Ronald Koeman's side were pitted alongside Lyon, Apollon Limassol and Atalanta in Group E when the draw was made, and will now battle it out over the course of the next few months to reach the Knockout phase of the competition.
They come into this game in indifferent form though, having kicked off their season with a 1-0 victory over Stoke before holding Manchester City to a 1-1 draw. They then lost 2-0 to Chelsea and 3-0 to Tottenham Hotspur.
Atalanta, meanwhile, are managed by former Internazionale, Palermo and Genoa boss Gian Piero Gasperini, who guided his side to fourth place in Italy last season to secure their direct route to the Europa League.
La Dea have, however, found results hard to come by in the league, losing 1-0 to Roma, 3-1 to Napoli, ahead of defeating Sassuolo 2-1 last Sunday.
Speaking ahead of the match, Koeman said: "After last weekend, we need to react. In that second half we lost a lot of belief and confidence. I think we didn't play with the right aggression.
"If you lose the game, if you are not happy with the performance, and you get an opportunity in the next few days, you like to show it. For that, I am really confident."
He added: "Of course, we don't have 11 players - we have much more players available, and for several reasons you can make some rotations.
"But, like always, we will start with a strong team."
Gasperini said: "We are confident. We might not bring a name but we had an excellent season last year and we carry a lot of enthusiasm."
Everton may be boosted slightly as the match is taking place at the Mapei Stadium and not Atalanta's home ground, the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia, which is currently being redeveloped.
In team news, Everton have no new injury concerns with only Ross Barkley set to miss the tie with a hamstring injury.
James McCarthy, Ramiro Funes Mori and Yannick Bolasie all remain out with a knee injuries while Seamus Coleman (broken leg) is a long-term absentee.
Maurizio Sarri says his decision to rest Dries Mertens was justified following Napoli's 2-1 defeat at Shakhtar Donetsk.
Taison opened the scoring on 15 minutes at the Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist in Kharkiv before Facundo Ferreyra's second on 58 minutes as Arkadiusz Milik pulled a goal back from the penalty spot with 71 minutes played.
Mertens had started on the bench but came on for Marek Hamsik on the hour mark before winning the penalty for his side barely ten minutes later.
Sarri explained to Mediaset Premium: "[On Tuesday] I was accused of not making enough changes; now I am accused of too many," he told .
"Dries is extraordinary and we don't leave him out lightly, but pace is his greatest strength and he can't have 50 to 55 games per year.
"He was coming off international duty, too, so we decided to rest him and let him come on later.
"If we had managed to keep it at 1-0, he could have got us the equaliser. He has certain characteristics and qualities so it's not easy to leave him out, but sometimes we have to."
He added: "We must not forget that we lost 2-1 at the home of the seeded team in this group.
"If anyone thought the Champions League would be a walk in the park for Napoli, they have their feet back on the ground now."
Radja Nainggolan said Roma's confidence was boosted by their 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid in their Champions League opener on Tuesday.
Nainggolan and his teammates were unable to break down a resolute Atletico defence while also denying their seasoned European opponents the chance to score.
The result left Roma and their opponents on one point, as Chelsea lead Group C following their 6-0 thrashing of Qarabag.
After the match, Nainggolan praised his side while also acknowledging the impressive work of goalkeeper Alisson Becker.
He said: "It's an important point for the confidence. We managed to create some good chances in the first half - their goalkeeper made a good save from my shot. Then Alisson after that made quite a few. We feel a draw is a good result against what is a top side."
He added: "We are at the start of the season, there are new tactics and a different style of working to what we were used to.
"It's normal that it will take a bit of time to be 100% for 90 minutes. But only through work will we get better at this.
"We have changed a lot - to a new style of play with a new coach. It will take time to do everything perfectly. We are not robots, we are working on it and we hope to keep getting better in a number of ways."