A lot of Napoli fans were a bit down on this season, but let's face it -- a run of eight unbeaten in Serie A is nothing to sneeze at. Seven points back of Juventus. Four points back of Roma. There's no reason to write this season off. But Napoli absolutely must find a way to keep their momentum going.
The trouble with Zemanlandia
Ok guys, we all know the deal with Zdeněk Zeman. Attack attack attack, worry about defense in some other lifetime. In terms of goals scored, it's been working alright -- Cagliari have 17, more than eight teams above them in the table. Which, really, might say it all. Yep, the isolani are way down in 15th, just two points above the drop, so Zeman's plan? It's not working so well.
More specifically, the 'come back and score goals so the defensive issues don't matter' isn't clicking. Despite Genoa going down a man with 15 minutes left to go, Cagliari still couldn't find a winner. They put up a fight against Lazio, but still lost 4-2. And Milan came back to draw 1-1. It hasn't been since Sampdoria, over a month ago, that Cagliari managed to come back successfully, and even that led to just a point.
Yet that doesn't mean they won't cause problems at the San Paolo...
Napoli have a personnel problem
This, too, is a story you know. Lorenzo Insigne is likely out for the season. Dries Mertens will miss a couple matches after his blow to the head. Jorginho is suspended. All details can be found here.
Projected Lineups Sure To Be Wrong
Napoli: Rafael; Faouzi Ghoulam, Kalidou Koulibaly, Raúl Albiol, Christian Maggio; David López, Gökhan İnler; Jonathan de Guzmán, Marek Hamšík, José Callejón, Gonzalo Higuaín
Please. Please. We don't want this:
Cagliari: Alessio Cragno; Nicola Murru, Luca Rossettini, Luca Ceppitelli, Francesco Pisano; Albin Ekdal, Lorenzo Crisetig, Daniele Dessena; Cossu, Marco Sau, Victor Ibarbo
Napoli: 3rd; 6W 3D 2L; League Form: WWDWD
Cagliari: 15th, 2W 4D 5L; League Form: DLDWD
Not a lot of rhyme or reason to recent isolani results. They've drawn three in row at home, but won once and lost once at the road. They're simply a worse side than Napoli and Napoli simply have to remember that.
TV: beIN Sports (USA and Canada)' BT Sport 1 (UK); Premium Calcio (Italy)
*note: I double-checked beIn and as of Saturday morning, they really are showing Napoli
Online: beIn Sports Connect (USA and Canada); Premium Play, Sky Go Italia (Italy)
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