After suffering two straight draws, one a boring affair in the Europa League, and the other a massive disappointment against Cagliari, Napoli need to bounce back. Going on the road against Sampdoria makes that a tough task, but the once-rising stars of the league have themselves faded of late, giving Napoli the chance they need to steal a win.
Cooling Their Jets
Sampdoria got off to an impressive start to their Serie A campaign, but this last month has not been kind to them. They've won just one of their last five matches, and also picked up their first defeat during that time. That's pushed Sinisa Mihajlovic to start tinkering with his lineup to try to find a better performing setup, and that should continue against Napoli.
Rumored transfer target Manolo Gabbiadini is believed to be taking a seat on the bench for this match, while Mihajlovic tweaks his formation to get Roberto Soriano further up the pitch. Of course, conspiracy theorists are saying it's to keep Gabbi from getting hurt against the team most likely to buy him, but it's not terribly likely a deal happens anyways.
Bouncing on the trampoline
The big news for Napoli right now is that Dries Mertens is available again for selection, although it's unlikely we see him take the pitch from the start. That honor will likely go again to Jonathan De Guzman, with Marek Hamsik needed behind the striker after Jorginho's audition at that spot proving underwhelming against Sparta Prague.
After that Europa League match proved to be a bore draw, and that coming off the heels of the disappointing draw against Cagliari, Napoli need to find any kind of good momentum they can and ride it hard. That means blitzing for early goals, and that Gonzalo Higuain, Jose Callejon, and Hamsik will have to be on their horse from the get go. It also means that Napoli can afford no mistakes in defense, something that will be a real turnaround from most of Napoli's recent matches.
Projected Lineups Sure To Be Wrong
Sampdoria: Romero; De Silvestre, Silvestre, Bergessio, Mesbah; Obiang, Kristicic, Soriano; Eder, Bergessio, Okaka
Napoli: Rafael; Maggio, Albiol, Koulibaly, Ghoulam; Jorginho, Lopez; Callejon, Hamsik, De Guzman; Higuain
At a glance
Sampdoria: 6th; 5W 6D 1L ; League Form: DDWLD
Napoli: 4th; 6W 4D 2L; League Form: DWWDW
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