Napoli plays host tonight to Atalanta in a match that they need to win in order to retain the top spot in Serie A. Here are the predicted line-ups ahead of the game.
In a crucial clash for the title, and injury-stricken Napoli meets Atalanta at Stadio Maradona tonight at 20.45 local time.
Luciano Spalletti’s men lead the Serie A table prior to the start of this weekend’s action, but only five points separate them and fourth-placed Atalanta. AC Milan’s victory today means that the Partenopei need to win tonight to continue their ride at the top of the table.
After a thrilling start to the season, it looks like Napoli may have lost some of its initial exuberance. Despite racking-up ten wins in their first 11 Serie A fixtures, a mere single victory from their four previous league games puts them in a perilous position. To avoid another frustrating season, the hosts will need to regain their mojo quickly.
Napoli has bit hit with an injury crisis. Victor Osimhen, Zambo Anguissa, and Lorenzo Insigne join Kalidou Koulibaly and Fabian Ruiz on the sidelines for thismatch.
Insigne, Ruiz, and Insigne are expected to be back in action within the next few days. The other three will continue to receive treatment for several more weeks.
Matteo Politano is preferred to Eljif Elmas as the team’s right-winger. Dries Mertens will be Gli Azzurri’s sole striker.
Atalanta will be without Robin Gosens and Matteo Lovato. The German fullback should have been back in action within the next few days. However, he sustained a new injury during training this week. His return has been delayed to January.
Mario Pasalic, who scored a hat trick against Venezia on Tuesday night, will likely be selected, playing behind Ruslan Malinovskyi and Duvan Zapata.
Although they have been solid at the back this season, Napoli’s recent defensive record against Atalanta suggests potential trouble this evening. The Partenopei have conceded ten goals to the Bergamo-based team in their seven Serie A matches at home.
Both sides will be playing in crucial European matches next. Atalanta hosts Villareal in Champions League, while Napoli faces Leicester City in Europa League. This may further encourage the teams’ managers to encourage their players to use caution.
Napoli: Ospina; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Juan Jesus, Mario Rui; Lobotka, Demme; Politano Zielinski, Lozano; Mertens
Atalanta: Musso; Toloi, Palomino, Djimsiti; Zappacosta, Freuler, De Roon, Maehle; Pasalic, Malinovskyi; Zapata