Crotone – Napoli (Serie A)
Crotone and Napoli open the 19th round of Serie A on Friday, with the two teams going up against each other at the Stadio Ezio Scida. The defeat at the Stadio Olimpico against Lazio sent Crotone to the bottom three, with the team needing a positive response as quickly as possible. Napoli, on their turn, managed to maintain the top spot in the league table against Sampdoria, in a match where the Azzurri were losing 0-2 and managed to win 3-2, all of this in the first half of the game.
Crotone are in 18th place with 15 points, from 4 victories, 3 draws and 11 defeats, with 13 goals scored and 36 goals conceded. With the defeat in their last match against Lazio, at the Stadio Olimpico Roma, Crotone fell into the relegation zone, and although they are in the bottom three thanks to the goal difference, the team desperately need to overturn their momentum in the league, arriving here with 5 defeats in their last 6 Serie A matches.
At home is where the team is stronger, they have won 2 out of their last 5 matches, scoring 5 goals and conceding 7 in the process. Crotone has the 3rd worst attack in the league, and 2nd team with more goals conceded, which justifies their current position in the league table. Against a very well organized team such as Napoli, both defensively and offensively, any result other than defeat would be very good for the Sharks.
In their last 5 official matches, Crotone has a record of 1 victory and 4 defeats. This sequence of results started with a 1-0 defeat against Genoa, for the Italy Cup. This result was followed by a 0-3 defeat against Udinese, a 2-1 defeat against Sassuolo, a 1-0 victory over Chievo, and in their last match, a 4-0 defeat against Lazio.
Probable Lineup: Cordaz – Sampirisi, Ceccherini, Ajeti and Martella – Barberis, Rohden and Mandragora – Trotta, Budimir and Stolan.
Napoli, on their turn, are league leaders with 45 points, from 14 victories, 3 draws and 1 defeat, with 41 goals scored and 13 conceded. Napoli comes here as league leaders but struggled to maintain their lead in their last match against Sampdoria, where they had a hard fought game. The Azzurri are going through a good moment in their domestic competitions as they have advanced to the quarter-finals of the Italy Cup, and have also moved to Europa League after finishing the Champions League group stage as 3rd placed in Group F.
Napoli have the 2nd best attack and the 2nd beste defense in the Serie A, and remain undefeated playing away from home, winning 8 out of their last 9 away matches, and have scored 8 goals and conceded 3 in their last 5 as visitors. With Juventus only 1 point behind them in the title race, Maurizio Sarri’s men have no choice but to win here in order to maintain leadership.
In their last 5 official matches, Napoli has a record of 3 victories, 1 draw and 1 defeat. This sequence of results started with a 2-1 defeat against Feyenoord, for the Champions League. This result was followed by a 0-0 home draw against Fiorentina, a 1-3 victory over Torino, a 0-1 victory against Udinese, for the Italy Cup, and in their last match, a 3-2 victory over Sampdoria. Mario Rui is out due to suspension.
Probable Lineup: Reina – Hysaj, Koulibaly, Albiol and Maggio – Jorginho, Hamsik and Allàn – Callejón, Mertens and Insigne.
Crotone has won only 1 out of their only 4 direct clashes, losing the remaining 3.
Serie A 2016/17
Serie A 2016/17
Serie B 2006/07
Serie B 2006/07
Napoli have no choice but to win here if they really want to maintain the Serie A leadership. Here, the Azzurri will face a team with a weak attack and a even lower defensive quality, something that can be very positive for them.