Fresh from losing their unbeaten record in Serie A this season at the hands of defending champions Inter Milan, Napoli will seek to get back to winning ways as they host Lazio on Sunday at 20:45 GMT.
Lazio are themselves looking to bounce back from the 2-0 defeat they suffered at home to Juventus.
With AC Milan losing 4-3 at Fiorentina, Napoli remain top of the table level with AC Milan on 32 but with a superior goal difference. Inter Milan have narrowed the gap at the top to four points.
Can Napoli Get Back to Winning Ways?
Luciano Spalletti’s men will have to put behind them the 3-2 defeat to Inter Milan last Sunday and get ready for the stern test that Lazio will pose at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.
With their unbeaten record gone, Napoli have to find the consistency, character, and nerve they need to sustain the pressure of a Serie A title charge to stand a chance of navigating an awkward-looking fixture against a good Lazio side.
Can Lazio Inflict Further Misery on Napoli’s Title Charge?
Lazio are four points behind fourth-placed Atalanta on the last Champions league spot. Maurizio Sarri’s side want to be in contention for European qualification this season.
This means beating Sarri’s former side will go a long way in improving their position on the table.
After losing 2-0 to Juventus last weekend, Sarri will be eager to see his team bounce back straight away at the home of the league leaders.
Spalletti’s men have collected 11 points from their last six rounds of fixtures. The Partenopei have won three, drawn two and lost one in this run.
Napoli’s home form is as good as any team in Serie A over the last six rounds of fixtures. Spalletti’s men have won five and drawn one at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.
Maurizio Sarri’s men have collected 10 points from the last six rounds of fixtures in Serie A. In this run, Lazio have won three, drawn one, and lost two outings.
But Lazio’s travels have been poor this season. The last six outings away from home have seen Sarri’s men collect just five points from a possible 18. They have won one, drawn two and lost on three occasions.
A fractured cheekbone will keep Victor Osimhen out of the match against Lazio on Sunday.
Manager Spalletti will also be without winger Matteo Politano, right-back Alessandro Zanoli, and midfielder Diego Demme due to the coronavirus.
Winger Adams Ounas (muscle injury) and Andre Zambo Anguissa (torn abductor muscle) are also likely to miss the Lazio class.
Spalletti will also be unable to call on Faouzi Ghoulam and Filippo Costa due to suspensions.
Maurizio Sarri will not be able to call on star striker Ciro Immobile who is sidelined with a calf injury since November 9th. Right-back Adam Marusic is also ruled out of selection due to the coronavirus, whereas right-winger Bobby Adekanye is ruled out with a meniscal injury.
Suspended players not available to Sarri include Riza Durmisi, Jordan Lukaku, Jony, Christiano Lombardi, Patryk ziczek, and Dimitrije Kamenovic.
Possible Starting Lineups
- Ospina; M. Rui, K. Koulibaly, A. Rrahmani, G. Di Lorenzo; F. Ruiz, E. Elmas; L. Insigne, P. Zielinski, H. Lozano; Dries Mertens
Pepe Reina; M. Lazzari, L. Felipe, F. Acerbi, E. Hysaj; S. Milinkovic-Savic, D. Cataldi, L. Alberto; F. Anderson, Pedro, M. Zaccagni
Players to Watch
With the likely sidelining of top scorer Victor Osimhen, Insigne will be the key man for Spalletti as Napoli seek to be back among the wins.
Insigne’s five goals and five assists in 15 appearances this season have been crucial in driving the Partenopei to the top of Serie A and highlighting his significance to the team’s title charge.
He will be important again against Lazio on Sunday.
Pedro has morphed into one of the key players for Maurizio Sarri at Lazio. His four goals and three assists in 17 appearances are only bettered by striker Ciro Immobile.
With Immobile sidelined, Pedro will be the key man once again as Lazio seek to defeat the in-form Napoli side.
Napoli and Lazio play high-octane matches with significant ball possession. This clash will therefore be end-to-end stuff with both teams seeking territorial and possession advantages across the pitch through overloading and passing triangles.
With Napoli’s fine home form and Lazio’s poor record away from home, the home side will have the advantage and the under hand. Expect Napoli to bounce back to winning ways with three points.
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