It's time for a trip to the Stadio Olimpico and another battle with Lazio. This is starting to become quite the heated rivalrly, with some intense matches in recent years. Last season, Lazio cost Napoli a Champions League spot with a dramatic and heart-breaking match in the last game of the season -- this season, Napoli thrashed them 5-0 to get their season rolling.
This time, Lazio are spoiling for a fight, both to get revenge and to try to start kicking their way back up the table. With the match in very hostile territory for Napoli, which way will this match end?
Napoli come into this match on a high note, having righted a wrong from earlier this season by battering Empoli to the tune of a 5-1 win, and are riding a six-match league winning streak. When they're focused and driven, Napoli have been nigh unstoppable this season, and a match against Lazio should keep them very tightly focused.
They'll have to make do without two of their best players this season, though, as both Allan and Elseid Hysaj are out with yellow card suspensions. That means that David Lopez and Christian Maggio will be starting in their place, something that will make Napoli fans nervous to see, especially age-slowed Maggio. Lopez has been solid as a substitute recently, though his starting appearances have been a bit shakier.
Of their new signings, Vasco Regini will be on the bench, though Alberto Grassi is obviously out after undergoing knee surgery following his first-training-session injury. Lazio are much worse off injury-wise, with Lucas Biglia, Stefan Rady, Ricardo Kishna, Stefan de Vrij, Edson Braafheid, and Milan Bisevac all first-teamers out injured. Worse -- or better, depending on your perspective -- Alessandro Matri, Sergei Milinkovic-Savic, and Danilo Cataldi are all suspended. That leaves their squad paper-thin for this match -- in fact, they had to dip into their youth ranks just to fill out a 19-man squad.
That should leave Napoli fans leaving hopeful for the match, but the team is still going to need to work their butts off to win this match. And make no mistake: they need to win. Juventus are right on their heels, and Napoli need to have their lead intact going into their match against Juve in just over two weeks.
Projected Lineups Sure To Be Wrong
Lazio: Marchetti; Basta, Mauricio, Gentiletti, Konko; Parolo, Onazi, Lulic; Candreva, Klose, Felipe
Napoli: Reina; Maggio, Albiol, Koulibaly, Ghoulam; Lopez, Jorginho, Hamsik; Callejon, Higuain, Insigne
At A Glance
Lazio: 9th; 9W 5D 8L; League Form: DWDWDW
Napoli: 1st; 15W 5D 2L; League Form: WWWWWW
Reverse Fixture: Napoli 5-0 Lazio
Napoli tore Lazio to shreds last time these two teams met, getting their first league win of the campaign and getting revenge for last season's campaign-killing and heart-crushing loss in the last game of the season. Napoli dominated the match from start to finish, scoring early and often -- they were up 2-0 at halftime, scored right after the half, and kept the pressure on until the final whistle to snag two more goals. That match started Napoli's rise to the top of the table, and got Lazio's tailspin well underway.
TV: beIN Sports (U.S.), Sky Sport 3 HD Italia, Sky Calcio 4 (Italy), BT Sport Europe (U.K.), RAI International
Online: Fubo TV, beIN Sports Connect (U.S.), Sky Go Italia (Italy), BT Sport Live Streaming (U.K.)
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.