MX23RW : Sunday, November 28 00:42:52| >> :600:2733534:2733534:
Jul 22, 2020 at 6.30pm UK at Ennio Tardini
Caprari (45+3' pen.), Kulusevski (87' pen.)
Grassi (53'), Brugman (90+2'), Iacoponi (90+3')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Insigne (54' pen.)
Lozano (35')

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

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Serie A clash between Parma and Napoli, including team news and predicted lineups.

Parma will be aiming to arrest their slump in the Italian top flight when they play host to Napoli at Stadio Ennio Tardini on Wednesday evening.

Parma currently occupy 14th spot with 40 points to show from 34 matches, whereas Napoli are sixth on 56 points with four games left to go.

Match preview

Parma boss Roberto D'Aversa pictured in September 2018© Reuters

Parma's poor run of form continued at the weekend as they fell to a 3-2 defeat against an in-form Sampdoria side, a result which saw the visitors leapfrog Parma in the table.

Roberto D'Aversa's men started the game strongly and went into the half-time interval with a two-goal cushion, but Sampdoria turned the game on its head in the second period to condemn Parma to their fifth loss in six matches.

Any slim hopes of a European berth have now been firmly wiped out and Parma will now be looking to get three points on the board as soon as possible - especially with their safety in the top flight not yet guaranteed.

I Gialloblu are 11 points clear of the relegation zone with four games remaining, so barring any disasters they should not be dragged into a fight for survival, but D'Aversa will undoubtedly want to be assured of his side's safety heading into the final straight.

Parma must now look to end a six-game winless run on familiar territory in their penultimate home game of the season, but the visit of Napoli represents a considerably difficult task for D'Aversa and his players.

Napoli players celebrate winning the Coppa Italia on June 17, 2020© Reuters

Having walked away from clashes with Bologna and AC Milan with just one point from each game, Napoli returned to winning ways as they overcame Udinese 2-1 on Sunday.

Gennaro Gattuso lost Dries Mertens to injury early on in the tie, but the Belgian's replacement Arkadiusz Milik netted within seconds of being brought on before Matteo Politano struck late on to snatch victory for Napoli.

The remainder of Napoli's league season will most likely pale into insignificance, however, with their sixth-placed standing meaningless in terms of European qualification following their Coppa Italia triumph.

Napoli are therefore guaranteed a route into the Europa League, but fourth-placed Lazio have an unassailable lead over Gattuso's men, who will need to go all the way in the Champions League if they are to play alongside the European elite again next season.

With their final few league games of the season bearing little significance, Gattuso will no doubt be keen to avoid any long-term layoffs before Napoli travel to Barcelona for the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie in August.

Parma Serie A form: LLLDLL

Napoli Serie A form: LWWDDW

Team News

Arkadiusz Milik pictured for Napoli in December 2019© Reuters

Parma will most likely have to make do without Matteo Scozzarella and Juraj Kucka once again, while top scorer Andreas Cornelius remains a doubt with a muscular problem.

Bruno Alves has also struggled with injury recently and is not expected to feature, but Roberto Inglese has made a return to fitness and could start up top.

Matteo Darmian and Alberto Grassi will return from suspensions, and both players will be in contention to feature from the start.

After netting Napoli's equaliser with his first touch after coming onto the pitch, Milik then picked up his fifth booking of the season and will serve a one-match suspension here.

Gattuso will therefore be hoping that Mertens recovers in time for the trip to Parma, but Lorenzo Insigne may be moved to a central role if Napoli are short of attacking options.

Giovanni Di Lorenzo returns from a yellow card suspension for Napoli and could come straight back into the fold in defence.

Parma possible starting lineup:
Sepe; Darmian, Iacoponi, Dermaku, Gagliolo; Hernani, Brugman, Barilla; Kulusevski, Inglese, Gervinho

Napoli possible starting lineup:
Ospina; Di Lorenzo, Koulibaly, Manolas, Rui; Zielinski, Ruiz, Demme; Politano, Insigne, Lozano

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We say: Parma 1-2 Napoli

Napoli could be without two key attacking figures in Milik and Mertens for the trip to Parma, but the hosts have been in woeful form and have injury problems of their own to contend with, so we are backing Napoli to walk away with all three points in midweek.

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