It's time for another match already, with Napoli on the road in Carpi just days after their massive 5-0 triumph over Lazio, and days before a huge match against Juventus. Will Napoli keep their momentum going, or will they get caught looking ahead for the 469th time and get their nose bloodied by a provincial side?
Keep. It. Rolling.
It's pretty simple: Napoli have momentum for the first time in what feels like a very long time. They need to do anything they can in order to maintain that momentum, so another big win should be on the cards here, especially against a winless side. Why not another 5-0, eh?
Trouble is, this is the exact kind of match that Napoli have struggled in since... well, it feels like forever. Against small teams like Carpi, they get caught unprepared and unaware, not taking a match seriously enough and winding up with a result no one wanted to see. Even with a match against Juventus this weekend, Napoli need to be focused on the here and now in order to ensure a third straight victory and not get caught looking ahead once more.
Fortunately, Napoli are fairly healthy. Marek Hamsik has a sprained ankle and is unlikely to make an appearance, but he is in the matchday squad in case he's really, desperately needed. We'll likely see some other rotation as well to keep the team fresh, but keep a close eye on Allan. He's been extremely impressive in his last three matches, and if given a bigger role in midfield with Hamsik on the bench, he could really shine in this match.
Finding their footing
Carpi have yet to find their first Serie A win, but they have yet to actually look bad in any of their matches so far. Fabrizio Castori may not have his team playing the most exciting football around right now, but they're playing solidly and have given some pretty good teams a lot of trouble in their last three matches.
They've been rolling with a 3-5-2 that's solid though the middle, trying to deny space to their opposition in front of goal, but also has a lot of lethality when they break forward on the counter -- or at least, that's the theory. Carpi have only scored five goals all year and were shut out in their last match, so that might not be the case just yet. Still, with the likes of Gabriel Silva, Andrea Lazzari, Ryder Matos, and Jerry Mbakogu lurking around, you have to stay wary -- that's a quick and skillful bunch of players.
Carpi also have the novelty of being seemingly the only team in Serie A to not have used the 4-3-1-2 this season. They deserve some props for that.
Projected Lineups Sure To Be Wrong
Carpi: Brkic; Romagnoli, Zaccardo, Bubnijic; Letizia, Fedele, Marrone, Lazzari, Silva; Matos, Mbakogu
Napoli: Reina; Maggio, Chiriches, Koulibaly, Ghoulam; Allan, Jorginho, Lopez; Insigne, Higuain, Mertens
At A Glance
Carpi: 19th; 0 W 1 D 3 L; League Form: LDLL
Napoli: 11th; 1 W 2 D 1 L; League Form: WDDL
TV: Premium Calcio 3, Sky Calcio 4 (Italy)
Online: Sky Go Italia (Italy)
It appears that there is no English-language coverage of this match, thanks to midweek League Cup action in England. Yay. 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.