MX23RW : Tuesday, July 27 15:58:13| >> :600:92014:92014:
Dec 13, 2020 at 2pm UK at Stadio San Paolo
Lozano (53'), Petagna (68')
Di Lorenzo (84'), Insigne (90+2'), Rui (90+2')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Jankto (20')
Thorsby (38'), Ekdal (52'), Colley (82'), Ramirez (90+2')

Preview: Napoli vs. Sampdoria - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Serie A clash between Napoli and Sampdoria, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Napoli's Stadio Diego Armando Maradona will stage their Sunday afternoon encounter with struggling Sampdoria, after a midweek draw against Real Sociedad saw them through to the last-16 of the Europa League.

Meanwhile, Claudio Ranieri's Samp side have been starved of success in recent weeks - the Blucerchiati's latest defeat coming at home to runaway Serie A leaders AC Milan last weekend.

Match preview

Hirving Lozano scores for Napoli on November 26, 2020© Reuters

Gennaro Gattuso's Napoli team have racked up eight unanswered goals in their last two league matches - skipper Lorenzo Insigne hit the net in both, while Mexican flyer Hirving Lozano registered his fifth goal of the season at Crotone last time out.

In a positive sign for the ex-Milan manager, fellow forward Dries Mertens got back on the goalscoring trail in the shock 4-0 defeat of Roma a fortnight ago, then served up two assists - the diminutive Belgian has five in total this season - against the hapless bottom side.

The Partenopei are also the team with the most different scorers in the Italian top flight so far, with 10. All of which bodes well for an outfit intent on mounting a serious Scudetto challenge in the spring, as testing fixtures against Inter Milan and Lazio are still to be faced before Christmas.

Napoli have won eight of their last nine Serie A games against Sunday's opposition, picking up more wins against the Genoese side than any other since 2016. Not only that, but they are also unbeaten in their last 12 home league games against Samp - winning 10 and keeping a clean sheet eight times in the process.

Chillingly for an out-of-form opponent, they have scored at least two goals in each of the last seven encounters between the clubs and will be confident of continuing the trend, given current form and their desire to maintain their grip on a top-three spot in the standings.

Sampdoria manager Claudio Ranieri pictured in October 2020© Reuters

The start of November heralded a period of regression for Sampdoria, with three defeats out of four league games and elimination from the Coppa Italia to city rivals Genoa seeing Claudio Ranieri's team slip into the bottom half of the table.

Having put up a brave fight against a clearly superior Milan, their slump continued last weekend as a 2-1 defeat meant that they have yet to win since late October. They have also conceded at least two goals in each game played since a 1-1 draw in the Derby della Lanterna over a month ago.

In fact, Sampdoria have conceded goals in each of their last 15 Serie A away games, so should travel south this week in trepidation - if not outright fear.

Samp are still searching for an effective second striker to support evergreen Fabio Quagliarella, as Manolo Gabbiadini, Antonino La Gumina and Gaston Ramirez have been unconvincing.

Young Danish tyros Mikkel Damsgaard and Morten Thorsby have shown flashes of their talent and guile in recent appearances however, and could be integral to any forthcoming revival.

This week, they may require an inspired showing from one-time Napoli star Quagliarella - still their chief goal threat even in his senior footballing years - to counter what is sure to be some heavy fire from the high-grade Neapolitan artillery.

Napoli Serie A form: WLWLWW
Napoli form (all competitions): LWWDWD

Sampdoria Serie A form: WDLLDL
Sampdoria form (all competitions): DLLLDL

Team News

Napoli manager Gennaro Gattuso pictured on November 5, 2020© Reuters

Home coach Gennaro Gattuso will still be without Elseid Hysaj and Amir Rrahmani, who previously tested positive for COVID-19 and continue to self-isolate.

Striker Victor Osimhen's condition is to be assessed ahead of kickoff, but the former Lille man is still struggling with a lingering shoulder injury and is unlikely to return by Sunday.

French full-back Kevin Malcuit is also unavailable due to a knee problem, while goalkeeper Alex Meret is a minor doubt - David Ospina stands by to continue between the posts.

Sampdoria's Bartosz Bereszynski suffered a thigh strain and will miss 2020's remaining fixtures. Forward Manolo Gabbiadini was substituted due to injury last week but should be fit to participate, while Keita Balde is close to a return.

Claudio Ranieri's midfield quartet could comprise veteran winger Antonio Candreva, Morten Thorsby, Albin Ekdal and Mikkel Damsgaard, in a cautious 4-4-1-1 setup.

Napoli possible starting lineup:
Meret; Di Lorenzo, Manolas, Koulibaly, Rui; Ruiz, Bakayoko; Lozano, Zielinski, Insigne; Mertens

Sampdoria possible starting lineup:
Audero; Ferrari, Yoshida, Tonelli, Augello; Candreva, Thorsby, Ekdal, Damsgaard; Ramirez; Quagliarella

SM words green background

We say: Napoli 2-1 Sampdoria

In-form Napoli have looked singularly determined to hunt down leaders Milan and mount a serious challenge for the Scudetto this season, with goals now starting to flow from all angles.

Samp's has been a season of one peak and two steep troughs, with the Blucerchiati offering up a limited brand of uninspiring football that is not of the level needed to upset Sunday's superior opponents.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data

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AC Milan's Samu Castillejo celebrates scoring against Sampdoria in Serie A on December 6, 2020
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