Napoli are coming off a huge win in the Europa League, but still have the bitter taste of last weekend's Serie A draw in the back of their mouths. Now with Udinese coming to the San Paolo, what better way will there to be to get rid of that sour flavor than to replace it with the sweet taste of a massive win?
Back on the horse
Napoli got back on track after last weekend's disappointing draw by beating the stuffing out of FC Midtjylland. Now it's time to get back to their winning ways in the league, especially with Inter, Fiorentina, and Roma all facing tough tests on Sunday. If Napoli win and things break their way in other results, the partenopei could be in first come the end of the weekend. If nothing else, the odds favor them being able to pass at least one of the trio ahead of them in the table with a win.
Fortunately, Napoli come into this match healthy and ready to rock. They were able to rotated fairly significantly in Thursday's Europa League match, meaning that Maurizio Sarri should have his first-choice starting XI available without much concern of fatigue. Lorenzo Inisigne has made good after being benched for his blowup against Palermo, Allan and Faouzi Ghoulam got to rest their legs, Gonzalo Higuain got to take a break -- this team got the chance to take a much-needed breath to re-set and prepare for this match.
Now especially with the international break looming, it's time for Napoli to go all-out and get the three points. Let's have another huge win, shall we?
Staying above the water
Stefano Colantulo was brought in to help Udinese take a step forward in their development as a club an get back to the kind of form that once saw them be something of a regular in European competition. That hasn't so much happened, as injuries and poor form have had Udinese flirting with the relegation zone almost all season long, and with their decidedly mediocre form over the past few weeks, there's not much reason to think that they can upset the odds in this match.
They've been especially hurt in recent weeks by the hip injury that Napoli-owned forward Duvan Zapata suffered, which required surgery and will keep him out for some time. He had been the zebrette's best and most productive forward so far this season, and they've struggled to put together an effective attack without him. Further complicating matters is that Antonio Di Natale is hurt for their trip to the San Paolo -- yet again, it seems like he never plays in his home town -- though Udinese do have Cyril Thereau, who has been a thorn in Napoli's side for a few years now.
Projected Lineups Sure To Be Wrong
Napoli: Reina; Hysaj, Albiol, Koulibaly, Ghoulam; Allan, Jorginho, Hamsik; Callejon, Higuain, Insigne
Udinese: Karnezis; Heurtaux, Danilo, Wague; Edenilson, Badu, Iturra, Lodi, Adnan; Fernandes; Thereau
At A Glance
Udinese: 14th; 3W 3D 5L; League Form: DLWDDW
Napoli: 4th; 6W 4D 1L; League Form: DWWWWW
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