After dropping points for the first time in the post-World Cup period, league leaders Napoli will look to bounce back to winning form when they host Atalanta on Saturday at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona at 17:00 GMT.
Napoli still hold a 15-point advantage at the top of Serie A ahead of second-placed Inter Milan. They will be looking to press home their advantage when they host Atalanta on Saturday. Bouncing back to winning ways for Napoli will drive them closer to the Scudetto.
Atalanta will be looking for their first win in three attempts; their last three assignments have ended in two defeats and a draw.
Napoli’s Bid to bounce back to Winning Form
Luciano Spalletti will rue the missed chances in their first defeat, which broke their winning run and denied them the chance to go 18 points ahead on top of Serie A.
Napoli dominated the match against Lazio with 65% possession; they also had 14 shots to Lazio’s 5. However, Napoli could not translate their dominance to chances and goals, resulting in their reverse.
However, Napoli will be raring to make a statement of intent and underline their relentlessness with a win against Atalanta on Saturday.
Atalanta’s Winless Run
Gian Piero Gasperini and his men are winless in three matches. They have lost at home to Lecce (1-2) and away to Milan (2-0). Last time out, they were held to a 0-0 stalemate at home to Udinese.
Atalanta have won just once in their last five, which means they have collected 4 points and dropped 11 in their last five matches. This run has seen Gasperini’s men fall further from contention for the top four.
They are currently 6th on the table with 41 points, 5 behind fourth-placed Roma with 47 points.
Luciano Spalletti will be without second striker Giacomo Raspadori for the visit of Atalanta on Saturday. The striker is sidelined with a hamstring injury he suffered on February 14, 2023. The 23-year-old is expected to return to contention by March 16, 2023.
Left-back Mario Rui is suspended for the visit of Atalanta. The 31-year-old will return to contention for selection on March 12, 2023.
Gian Piero Gasperini will be without several first-team players for the trip to Napoli on Saturday.
Right-back Hans Hateboer (cruciate ligament rupture), center-forward Duvan Zapata (hamstring), and center-back Giorgio Scalvini (distortion of the ankle) are all ruled out of the trip to Naples.
Atalanta will also be without the services of right-back Davide Zappacosta (tear in the abductor’s muscle), defensive midfielder Teun Kopmeiners (biceps femoris muscle injury), and center-back Jose Luis Palomino (tear in the abductor’s muscle) are also ruled out of the clash with Napoli.
A. Meret; G. Di Lorenzo, A. Rrahmani, M. KIM, M. Olivera; A. Anguissa, S. Lobotka, P. Zielinski; H. Lozano, V. Osimhen, K. Kvaratskhelia
J. Musso; R. Toloi, M. Demiral, B. Djimsiti; J. Maehle, M. de Roon, T. Koopmeiners, M. Ruggeri; A. Lookman, R. Hojlund, J. Boga
The match on Saturday will be important for Spalletti and his charges because it will highlight how they react to setbacks and whether they can handle the pressure of being at the top of the table during the run-in. They will dominate the ball and create chances through inventive play in the final third.
Gian Piero Gasperini will look to get his side to perform at their best against the league’s in-form team when they visit Napoli on Saturday. They will need their best form to face a Napoli side reeling from the 0-1 defeat against Lazio last weekend. They will seek to be compact in their performance and frustrate Napoli.
Napoli will bounce back with a win in this match and continue their relentless pursuit of the Scudetto.
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