Napoli finally got a win! But it wasn't in the league. They still haven't won in Serie A yet. Hey Lazio, how about a helping hand, eh? Not our fault you screwed up the Champions League qualifying chance we gift-wrapped for you...
Don't waste the momentum
Napoli won a resounding 5-0 victory over Club Brugge in Europa play on Thursday, their first win of the season and their best performance of the campaign by miles and miles and miles. Now the key is this: don't waste that momentum.
Napoli need a league win in a bad way, and they can do one of two things with the result they just earned: either turn it into a huge kick in the ass and ride it into a run of great league matches, or let it go to waste and keep slumping along. The last two years, Napoli did the latter over and over and over. If Maurizio Sarri wants to prove that he's the right man for the job, that he's better than Rafa Benitez, he needs to break that trend and kick Lazio's ass.
It's expected that Napoli will roll with the same 4-3-3 that they ran out against Brugge on Thursday to such great success. We likely won't see the exact lineup -- Napoli will need to do some rotating this match and next, as their next fixture is a midweek affair against Carpi in a few days that has a massive Juventus match riding on its heels.
It'd be awfully nice to get some revenge for the end of last season, too. That'd be pretty neat.
Spoiling for a fight
Lazio are better off in the league than Napoli are right now, with two wins and a loss on their record. That's not to say that their season is going particularly well, though, after faceplanting in Champions League qualification, dropping Europa League points deep in extra time, and having yet to play all that impressively in the league despite their better record. At least Napoli haven't lost 4-0 to Chievo, right?
That leaves Stefano Pioli's side spoiling for a fight to prove that last season was no fluke, and who better for them to vent on than the team they beat in dramatic fashion in the last match of the season to earn that CL qualifying spot? Pioli knows that this match will be a very different kind of battle than the game in May was, but given the way the partenopei played until this past Thursday, that doesn't necessarily bode well for the boys wearing the right shade of blue.
Perhaps fortunately for Napoli, Lazio are pretty beat up right now. Lucas Biglia, Stefan De Vrij, and Mirslav Klose are all out. Antonio Candreva, Ravel Morrison, and Filip Djordjevic are all pretty strong doubts. Several others, including Felipe Anderson, are slowed by various strains and knocks and niggles. If their combination of injuries and drooping form can slow Lazio down, Napoli should wind up looking fairly good for this match -- or at least, that's the hope. We'll see what reality holds.
Projected Lineups Sure To Be Wrong
Napoli: Reina; Maggio, Albiol, Chirches, Ghoulam; Allan, Jorginho, Hamsik; Insigne, Higuain, Mertens
Lazio: Marchetti; Basta, Mauricio, Hoedt, Radu; Parolo, Onazi, Lulic; Anderson, Matri, Keita
At A Glance
Lazio: 10th; 2 W 0 D 1 L; League Form: WLW
Napoli: 15th; 0 W 2 7D 1 L; League Form: DDL
TV: Sky Calcio 1, Sky Sport 1 HD Italia (Italy), BT Sport Europe (U.K.), RAI International
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