Napoli follows up its impressive mid-week victory against Leicester City, with a visit from Serie A’s Empoli. A victory would be vital in the bid for the Scudetto.
After securing European progress in dramatic fashion midweek, Napoli returns to Serie A duty tonight with a visit from the league’s surprise package, Empoli
Stadio Maradona is where the teams meet. The Partenopei are hosting their third consecutive fixture. The hosts are now three points away from the top place. The 11th-placed guests are seeking to win their eighth victory in what has been an outstanding campaign so far.
Luciano Spalletti’s team has conceded nine goals in five of their last league matches. It’s more than they have in any of their 18 Serie A matches. The 3-2 defeat to Atalanta last week has been particularly difficult to take. This followed five goals scored against them by Inter and Sassuolo.
Following their long unbeaten start to Serie A, Napoli is now trailing both Milan clubs and has been pushed from the top of the table.
However, their defeat to La Dea was their first home loss in this season’s Italian top flight. Napoli has won six of eight fixtures at Maradona. Empoli will be a tough opponent, although Napoli has been highly successful against their opponents in previous meetings.
Empoli won’t be too worried about the past this week. The team has had an excellent run of results since being promoted back to Serie A. The 3-1 win against Udinese has been the standout result.
Empoli has earned 23 points so far, their second-highest haul at this stage in a top-flight campaign. They also have 23 goals. This is a club record for 16 Serie A matches. They travel south to try and add Napoli to the growing list of victims this season, which also includes Fiorentina, Juventus, Bologna, and Fiorentina.
Napoli: Ospina; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Jesus, Rui; Demme, Zielinski; Politano, Elmas, Ounas; Mertens
Empoli: Vicario; Stojanovic, Romagnoli, Tonelli, Parisi; Haas, Ricci, Zurkowski; Bajrami; Pinamonti, Cutrone
Napoli takes on Empoli tonight at 18.00 local time at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.