Chris Kelly: Torino v Napoli Preview

Form:

Napoli Away form: WWWDW Napoli overall form: DWWLD

Torino Home form: DLWDD Torino overall form: DDDDW

Preview:

Napoli away form is generally strong so far this Serie A campaign with 7W 1D 0L, compared to 5W 2D 1L when playing at the San Paolo. But with no goals scored in the last 3 League fixtures, and only 3 in the last 5, Napoli’s confidence will be close to rock bottom. By the same token, the Azzurri defence is joint 1st alongside Inter and Roma, in 1st and 4th place respectively. They’re also joint top of the clean sheet League with Inter, Roma and Juve.

The style of play we Napoli fans have become used to seeing during the last few seasons, Sarrismo, is dependant on a strong left side with Faouzi Ghoulam and Lorenzo Insigne being linked in midfield by the Pass Master Jorginho. Having Ghoulam and Insigne out with injury, we’ve seen a shift in dynamic across to the right side of the field. Clearly the high pressing, quick passes, patient play is still there, but the transition from left sided domination is a hard habit to break. Hysaj, has been tried out of position on the left , and Mario Rui, who simply hasn’t had enough game time to fit seamlessly into the starting 11, haven’t got the same attacking abilities as Ghoulam. Also, they have struggled with crossing in from the left flank. The team have been labelled as toothless, lacking imagination and of missing the killer touch in the Penalty area. We hope that the enforced recouperation time for Lorenzo has worked, and that the tiniest of sparks is ignited by his return to the team.

Torino come into the fixture off the back of a controversial win away to Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico, which saw Ciro Immobile sent off after an attempted(and partially succesful) headbutt. This was their 1st win against Lazio in the last 4 seasons, and also their first win at the Olimpico against Lazio since 1993. Inevitably the Turin outfit will be on a high, and ready to do battle with an out of form, tired looking Napoli.

That being said the Granata aren’t without their injury and disciplinary issues too. Ansaldi is out with injury until after the Christmas period, and Niang will be evaluated ahead of the game. We may also see the return of Adem Ljajic, who was benched by Toro Coach Sinisa Mihajlovic for an apparent infringement of discipline during training ahead of the Lazio game.

After the Game Mihajlovic told reporters he changed his squad formation to 4-3-3, against Lazio and found a stronger, more balanced side on the pitch.

Probable Lineups:

Napoli(4-3-3): Reina; Hysaj, Albiol, Koulibaly, Rui; Allan, Jorginho, Hamsik; Callejon, Mertens, Insigne

Coach: Maurizio Sarri

Torino(4-3-3): Sirigu, De Silverstri, N’Koulou, Burdisso, Molinaro; Baselli, Valdifiori, Rincon; Iago Falque, Belotti, Berenguer

Coach: Sinisa Mihajlovic


By Chris Kelly 

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