The weekend brings another match for Napoli, as the partenopei hope to set aside a week of disappointment and chaos and focus on their visitors. Lowly Hellas Verona are coming to town, a team that Napoli have trounced twice already this season, both in Serie A and Coppa Italia action. A trifecta of dominating wins against them would be nice to see Napoli achieve, and would help set them back on the right path again after falling off the rails last week.
Napoli will be hoping that Verona's struggles for this season continue for at least one more match, though they manage to win just their third match of the season last weekend. Verona are all but relegated at this point of the season, seven points from safety with seven matches to play, including this visit to the San Paolo. Another loss this weekend would all but assure that they'll be playing in Serie B next season.
Their struggles have been typified by those of Luca Toni, with whom age finally seemed to catch up to this season. The 38 year old has scored just five times all season, a far cry from his capocannoniere season a year ago. He's also been benched thanks to his poor form -- as well as some withering remarks in the media for his manager and teammates several weeks ago.
Of course, Napoli will be without this season's capocannoniere, with Gonzalo Higuain suspended for last weekend's antics in a loss to Udinese. Defender Kalidou Koulibaly and attacker Dries Mertens will join him in the sidelines with suspensions for yellow card accumulation, while manager Maurizio Sarri spends the match in the stands as well. Forward Manolo Gabbiadini and defender Vlad Chiriches will be stepping into the lineup in place of their suspended comrades, and while both players are plenty talented, they've both struggled mightily in recent starts. Hopefully they'll both return to their best this weekend, because Napoli cannot afford any slip ups now, not with Roma snapping at their heels.
Projected Lineups Sure To Be Wrong
Hellas Verona: Gollini; Pisano, Helander, Moras, Souprayen; Viviani, Marrone, Ionita; Wszolek, Pazzini, Gomez
Napoli: Reina; Hysaj, Albiol, Chiriches, Ghoulam; Allan, Jorginho, Hamsik; Callejon, Gabbiadini, Insigne
At A Glance
Hellas Verona: 20th; 3W 13D 15L; League Form: WLDLLW
Napoli: 2nd; 20W 7D 4L; League Form: LWWWDD
Reverse Fixture: Hellas Verona 0-2 Napoli
Napoli utterly dominated Hellas Verona in their first meeting, snapping a long streak of bad fortune at the Stadio Bentegodi and helping to set the pace in the title race during a mid-season period when four teams were gunning for the scudetto and dancing on a knife's edge. It also saw Gonzalo Higuain take the top spot in the league scoring charts, a position he hasn't relinquished since -- though obviously he won't be adding to his total for a few weeks.
TV: beIN Sports (U.S.), Sky Calcio 1, Premium Calcio 1 (Italy), BT Sport 1 (U.K.), RAI International
Online: beIN Sports Connect, fuboTV (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.