Napoli have added another date to their pre-season friendly calendar, with a trip to England set for August 6th as they’ve announced a friendly against AFC Bournemouth to be played at the Vitality Stadium.
While a match against Bournemouth may not be quite of the caliber that most Napoli fans look for, but they’re also not a pushover despite not being a team with a lot of name value. They finished ninth in the Premier League last season thanks in large part to an entertaining playing style, and have been working on getting even better this season.
They may not be a side that many international fans are intimately familiar with, but they still have a few talented players who can press Napoli hard. They just made a club-record signing to secure Nathan Ake on a permanent deal after having him on loan last season, recently signed Jermaine Defoe, and also boast players like Callum Wilson, Asmir Begovic, and young American starlet Emerson Hyndman.
The match will also be close on the heels of Napoli’s trip to Germany for the Audi Cup on August 1st and 2nd, giving them good early practice for making quick turnarounds between matches involving travel for the upcoming season. Bournemouth are also not far off the level of many of the teams Napoli could potentially face in the Champions League playoff two weeks later, making it a good preparation match for that vital tie.
It will also be a welcome appearance for Napoli’s contingent of fans based in England, who will surely flock to Bournemouth and the Vitality Stadium to support their team in person. American fans will still be jealous, but it will at least be progress and an exciting match to watch. Maybe next year.