Napoli entertain Torino in Serie A on Sunday looking to keep up the pressure on runaway leaders Juventus.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men will recognise that their efforts will most likely be in vein given Juve’s form this season, but they will be keen to wrap up second place – which, as it stands, looks achievable given their nine point cushion over Inter in third.
Torino are in 8th place in the Serie A, five points off the Champions League places. They will fancy their chances of causing an upset against I Partenopei, despite the hosts impressive league form.
Check out 90min’s preview of the game below:
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Sunday 17 February|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||19:30 GMT|
|Where Is It Played?||Stadio San Paolo|
|TV Channel/Live Stream||Premier Sports 2|
Napoli will be without Raul Albiol after he underwent knee surgery in London last week, as well as Mario Rui. The hosts will also be without club legend Marek Hamsik, whose move to Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang was confirmed towards the back end of the week.
Torino are likely to be without Koffi Djidji, who is still recovering from a sprained ankle, but other than that, Walter Mazzarri should have a full strength squad to choose from.
Simone Zaza is back in the squad but will likely have to settle for a place on the bench behind striker Andrea Belotti, who is one yellow card away from suspension.
|Napoli||Meret; Malcuit, Maksimovic, Koulibaly, Ghoulam; Callejon, Diawara, Fabian Ruiz, Zielinski; Insigne, Mertens|
|Torino||Sirigu; Izzo, N’Koulou, Moretti; Aina, Lukic, Rincon, Baselli, Ansaldi; Berenguer, Belotti|
Head to Head Record
Napoli and Torino have faced each other a total of 33 times with Napoli leading the way with 14 wins. Torino, meanwhile, have only won six encounters, with the remaining 13 clashes ending in a draw.
Their most recent match-up ended in a 3-1 win for Napoli in September last year. Gli Azzurri have lost only one of their 13 games against I Granata, and are unbeaten in their previous 17 Serie A home games.
That statistic alone is likely to worry Torino, despite their own good form this season.
Napoli have won only two of their last five games in all competitions, but will be buoyed by their 3-1 Europa League win away at FC Zurich.
Fatigue may be a concern for Ancelotti, but the former Chelsea boss will no doubt feel his side have more than enough quality to get the job done.
Torino have a very similar recent record, with their 1-0 win over Udinese also given Mazzarri’s side two wins in their last five games.
The club from Turin also managed to get the better of Inter a couple of games ago and are unbeaten since then, which will no doubt raise confidence ahead of the game.
Here’s how both sides fared in their last five games.
|FC Zurich 1-3 Napoli (14/02)||Torino 1-0 Udinese (10/02)|
|Fiorentina 0-0 Napoli (09/02)||SPAL 0-0 Torino (03/02)|
|Napoli 3-0 Sampdoria (02/02)||Torino 1-0 Inter (27/01)|
|Milan 2-0 Napoli (29/01)||Roma 3-2 Torino (19/01)|
|Milan 0-0 Napoli (26/01)||Torino 0-2 Fiorentina (13/01)|
Napoli will feel that they have enough striking firepower to overwhelm their opposition, but will be wary of Torino’s exceptional away record.
The Maroons have drawn a staggering nine away games out of 12 this season – winning two and losing just once.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side pose an entirely different threat to Torino though, and with Dries Mertens in good form, Gli Azzurri should have enough about them to wrap up another home win.
Prediction: Napoli 2-0 Torino