Match Preview: Napoli v Bologna

Sunday January 28th @ Stadio San Paolo (15:00/9:00 CET)

After the disappointing Verdi saga of this past week, Napoli fans have another reason to be happy with the brilliant signing of Amin Younes, a versatile left winger who replicates Insigne’s style. Putting all the calciomercato gossip aside, Napoli host twelfth-place Bologna this Sunday afternoon at the San Paolo.

After riding high off the 1-0 victory last weekend in Bergamo, Napoli will be looking to make a statement with victory again in order to hold on to first place. Keep an eye out for Dries Mertens who’s coming in hot and is momentarily in form with his stunning goal last weekend.

The Belgian forward mentioned that scoring for the first time since October felt like a weight lifted off his shoulders and will be aiming to get on the scoresheet once again. On the rossoblu end, Simone Verdi leads the team with six goals and it will remain to be seen if he will annoy the Neapolitan tifosi once more with a goal.

The key for Maurizo Sarri’s side will be to battle hard and attack right from the opening kickoff, taking advantage of Bologna’s lackadaisical defense. Napoli’s exciting attacking trio, thus far, will be critical to their success on Sunday afternoon as finding the back of the goal early on in the match should produce plenty of more opportunities to run away with this game.

Some interesting notes ahead of this tilt include the return of Napoli captain, Marek Hamsik, who was out last week with the flu and is expected to start.

Also, Donadoni is expected to switch Bologna’s formation back to a 4-3-3, matching Napoli, as Dzemaili is now back from Montreal and ready to make an impact. Bologna are coming off a 3-0 win over Benevento last weekend, but have only won two out of their last six matches, losing the other four. 

Given Bologna’s poor form, expect to see a possible high scoring game by the Partenopei as they’ve averaged 2.5 or more goals against the Bolognese in their last six meetings.

 

Previous Match Facts:

 

  • Napoli have won their last 4 matches against Bologna

 

  • Napoli have scored at least 2 goals in their last 8 matches vs Bologna
  • Napoli have kept a clean sheet in their last 3 matches
  • Bologna have conceded at least 2 goals in their last 4 matches
  • Bologna have lost 3-1, 6-0, and 3-0 in their last 3 visits to Naples

 

Probable Lineups:

Napoli (4-3-3)

Reina

Ghoulam , Koulibaly , Albiol , Hysaj

Hamsik , Jorginho, Allan

Insigne, Mertens , Callejon

 

Bologna (4-3-3)

Mirante

Mbaye ,De Maio, Maietta , Masina

Dzermaili, Poli, Donsah

Verdi, Destro, Palacio

 

Match Prediction: Napoli 3-0 Bologna

With Juventus sitting just one point behind and playing Chievo on Saturday, Sarri’s men will be prepared to come out hard and pressure the rossoblu’s inconsistent defense. Look for Mertens and Insigne to find their scoring touch again… Forza Napoli Sempre!!


By Mark Manganiello

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