You could be forgiven for being incredibly nervous about this Napoli match, even though it's "just" against Genoa. There's a lot on the line here, even though this isn't a major rivalry and we're still fairly early in the season. If Napoli win this match... well, Napoli need to win this match.
Just $%&@ing win
Let's not dance around things: this is a huge match. Massive. Why? Genoa aren't a particularly major rival. They're low down the table. So why the import?
Simple: Napoli can end this weekend in first place.
Yes, you read that correctly. Thanks to Roma's loss to Inter, if Napoli win, they'll be in first place in Serie A, tied with Inter on points -- and potentially with Fiorentina as well -- but holding the goal differential tiebreaker. That's... huge. Massive. All-important.
Please, please, please, Napoli. Do not screw this up. PLEASE.
Familiar faces, but not on the field
Genoa have both Goran Pandev and Blerim Dzemaili (HI DZEI!), but neither are likely to play in this match. What else matters, really?
Oh, fine. Genoa are still reeling from the disappointment of being excluded from playing in the Europa League -- fortunately, this was a facilities issue rather than a "you haven't paid anyone in months" issue like Parma had last year, leading to the club's demise. Still, that lead to a player exodus that Genoa has struggled to recover from, as seen by their up-and-down form this season.
Still, when they're healthy and have things together, Parma are a dangerous side that cannot be taken for granted. Gian Piero Gasperini is a good tactician, and he will get this collection of players performing at a higher level -- he just needs a little luck and a little time. Hopefully Napoli give him neither.
Projected Lineups Sure To Be Wrong
Genoa: Perin; Figueiras, Izzo, De Maio, Ansaldi; Tachtsidis, Rincon, Ntcham; Lazovic, Pavoletti, Perotti
Napoli: Reina; Hysaj, Albiol, Koulibaly, Ghoulam; Allan, Jorginho, Hamsik; Gabbiadini, Higuain, Insigne
At A Glance
Genoa: 11th; 3W 2D 5L; League Form: DLWDW
Napoli: 3rd; 6W 3D 1L; League Form: WWWWW
TV: beIN Sports (U.S. & Canada), Sky Calcio 1, Sky Sports 1 HD Italia (Italy), ESPN UK/HD (U.K.)
Online: Fubo TV, beIN Sports Connect (U.S. & Canada), Sky Go Italia (Italy)
Other live viewing options can be found here, and as always, we'll have a match thread live here for discussion of the game at hand. You can also follow along with us live on Twitter, and we'll have updates of the most important events on our Facebook page, which you should definitely like.