MX23RW : Saturday, December 7 09:23:15| >> :600:4365856:4365856:
Oct 19, 2019 at 5pm UK at ​Stadio San Paolo (Napoli)
Attendance: 40,000
Napoli
2-0
Hellas VeronaHellas Verona
Milik (37', 67')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Preview: Napoli vs. Hellas Verona - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Napoli's meeting with Hellas Verona in Serie A on Saturday, including predictions, team news and predicted lineups.

Napoli meet Hellas Verona in Serie A on Saturday knowing that dropping points at home would put a massive dent in the club's pursuit of league leaders Juventus.

Carlo Ancelotti's side already find themselves six points behind their Turin rivals following a shock defeat to Cagliari ahead of the international break.


Match preview

Carlo Ancelotti in charge of Napoli on August 4, 2018© Reuters

There is perhaps a feeling at Napoli that the club missed its chance to claim a first Scudetto since the days of Diego Maradona over the 2017-18 season, during which a side managed by Maurizio Sarri won the hearts of many with its football and finished on 91 points, still four behind Juventus.

Napoli also finished last season in second place but only managed 79 points - a good campaign but one which lacked the same stirring, aggressively positive football as seen with Sarri - and now find themselves behind Juventus, Inter Milan and Atalanta after seven games.

The core elements of that 2017-18 team remain, with Dries Mertens, Lorenzo Insigne, Allan, Fabian, Elseid Hysaj and Kalidou Koulibaly serving as the spine, but you suspect that the special chemistry engendered by Sarri's principled approach has started to fade away.

Indeed, it is symbolic that Sarri, a Neopolitan, has now taken the helm at Juventus and looks set to guide the Old Lady to their ninth successive Serie A triumph, while Napoli effectively face a fight to see who can be best of the rest.

At issue here is a deeper problem of top clubs across Europe - from Bayern Munich in Germany to BATE Borisov in Belarus - assuming a monopoly over the resources necessary for a successful title challenge, which in Napoli's case reflects a wider cultural disjunct between the rich north and the poor south in Italy.

It is this notion through which Napoli defines itself, as the more romantic, visceral force of nature in contrast with the inane wealth of their rivals from the north.

Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly reacts after a missed chance against Chievo Verona on November 25, 2018© Reuters

The dynamic will be slightly different when Napoli welcome Verona, whose supporters bring a similar noise and colour to these occasions but have, not too long ago, found themselves embroiled in a racism saga which is looming over Italian football in an especially pronounced way this season.

On the pitch, Verona present an awkward, physical challenge away from home, commonly playing with a 3-4-1-2 system which focuses on pushing teams wide and moving the ball to key strikers Mariusz Stepinski and Samuel Di Carmine.

Having suffered relegation in 2018, Verona bounced back with promotion last season and currently find themselves in 10th spot having claimed a 2-0 win over Sampdoria last time out - a performance hallmarked by a level of acute organisation that has helped Verona only lose twice so far this term.

Those two defeats came against Juventus and AC Milan, with both being closely run affairs, and Napoli will be wary of the prospect of another battle against a highly driven side with nothing to lose at the San Paolo.

Recent Napoli form: WWLWDD
Recent Hellas Verona form: WLLDDL


Team News

Napoli's Elseid Hysaj in Serie A action with Genoa's Domenico Criscito on April 7, 2019© Reuters

Mario Rui has a chance of returning to the Napoli squad this weekend, although new signing Hirving Lozano is definitely out due to an ankle problem sustained over the international break.

Hysaj is another player likely to miss out due to an injury picked up while on international duty, while Nikola Maksimovic has been sidelined since last month.

For Verona, manager Ivan Juric continues to be without Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu, who was hospitalised in August due to a blood clot in his lungs.

Alessandro Crescenzi and Daniel Bessa are both nearing returns from respective thigh and groin problems, but it is unlikely that they will recover in time for the trip south to Naples.

Napoli possible starting lineup:
Meret; Malcuit, Koulibaly, Maksimovic, Ghoulam; Callejon, Allan, Fabian, Zielinski; Mertens, Llorente

Hellas Verona possible starting lineup:
Silvestri; Rrahmani, Dawidowicz, Gunter; Lazovic, Faraoni, Veloso, Amrabat; Verre, Zaccagni; Stepinski


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Napoli 1-0 Hellas Verona

Napoli have struggled in front of goal in recent times, failing to score in their last two outings, while Verona are showing themselves to be a difficult team to break down.

The home side could be in for a frustrating afternoon as they look to find space and may well suffer another goalless draw. However, buoyed by the home support and the need for points, Napoli should eventually get their goal.


body check tags ::

Who will win Saturday's Serie A clash between Napoli and Hellas Verona?

Napoli
Draw
Hellas Verona
Napoli
0.0%
Draw
0.0%
Hellas Verona
0.0%
Share this article now:
Instagram - Follow Sports Mole
Carlo Ancelotti in charge of Napoli on August 4, 2018
Read Next:
In Focus: Liverpool's Champions League opponents Napoli
>
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free match previews newsletter! Updates are sent twice a week.

Premier League
Championship
La Liga
Serie A
Bundesliga
Ligue 1
Eredivisie
Primeira Liga
League One
League Two
National League
Scottish Premiership
Scottish Championship
Scottish League One
Scottish League Two
Turkish Super Lig
Belgian Pro League
Greek Superleague
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Swiss Super League
Norwegian Eliteserien Playoffs
Segunda Division
Serie B
2.Bundesliga
NIFL Premiership
Premier League 2 - Div 1
Premier League 2 - Div 2
Argentine Primera Division
Australian A-League
International Friendlies
European Champions Cup
European Challenge Cup
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool15141037142343
2Leicester CityLeicester1511223592635
3Manchester CityMan City15102343172632
4Chelsea159243021929
5Wolverhampton WanderersWolves155822117423
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd155642318521
7Crystal Palace156361418-421
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs155552523220
9Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd154741715219
10Arsenal154742123-219
11Newcastle UnitedNewcastle155461522-719
12Burnley155372124-318
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton155371822-418
14Bournemouth154471821-316
15West Ham UnitedWest Ham154471725-816
16Aston Villa154382224-215
17Southampton154381733-1615
18Everton154291627-1114
19Norwich CityNorwich1532101632-1611
20Watford15159930-218

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!