Serie A PREVIEW I Empoli V Napoli

Napoli’s next stop in their road to the Scudetto is the Castellani stadium as they will face Empoli away in a game that will open up Serie A’s matchday 24.

Luciano Spalletti’s side sit at the top of the league with a comfortable 15-points lead over second placed Inter. Last Tuesday, they collected a major 2-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt away in the first leg of Champions League’s last 16.

Napoli’s numbers in the league are impressive: they’ve lost just one game in Serie A and they’ve won 18 of their last 19 games, currently on a seven-win streak

They have scored 56 goals and conceded only 15 in the league this season. It’s the third time in Serie A history that a team at this point of the season has a goal difference of more than +40 after Roma in 2003/04 (+41) and Juventus in 2017/18 (+44).

The Partenopei have also collected three consecutive clean sheets in Serie A and they’re aiming to get a fourth. If that happens, it will be the second time under Luciano Spalletti that Napoli will not concede a goal in four straight league games.

It will be a tough job for Empoli, especially as they’re winless in their last four games but they have already pulled off a masterclass in beating 1-0 Inter at San Siro in late January.

Results from their last five matches in all competitions:

Empoli:

D D L D W

Napoli:

W W W W W

Team News

No major changes are expected in Napoli’s line-up, which means that Victor Osimhen will start the game after scoring in each of his last seven Serie A games.

With a goal today, he’ll become the first player to score in eight league appearances in a row since Cristiano Ronaldo.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia will start too while Hirving Lozano and Matteo Politano are in contention with the latter favourite to start.

The big, and really bad, news for Empoli is that Francesco Caputo is in doubt. He’s suffering from muscle fatigue and there’s no certainty about his presence.

Striker Nicolò Cambiaghi is out too due to injury so Martin Satriano and Roberto Piccoli are likely to start upfront. Coach Paolo Zanetti will miss midfielders Jean-Daniel Akpa-Akpro and Filippo Bandinelli too as they’ve been suspended.

Predicted XIs

Empoli (4-3-1-2): Vicario, Ebuehi, Luperto, Ismajli, Parisi; Henderson, Marin, Haas; Baldanzi; Satriano, Piccoli.

Napoli (4-3-3): Meret; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Kim, Mario Rui; Anguissa, Lobotka, Elmas; Politano, Osimhen, Kvaratskhelia.

 

Andrea Agostinelli | GIFN

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